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28-year-old techie critical at Powai hospital

india Updated: Aug 08, 2009 01:12 IST
Alifiya Khan

On Friday, the mood was sombre at Hiranandani hospital as a team of epidemiologists screened doctors, nurses and staffers after a 28-year-old IT professional tested positive for swine flu.

He is critical and on ventilator support after he developed acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Hiranandani hospital authorities said the patient has been kept in a high-pressurised isolation ward.

“He was shifted here from Paramount General Hospital in a critical state. So far, it is difficult to say if he would pull through,” said Dr Sujit Chatterjee, CEO, Hiranandani hospital.

For five days, doctors at Paramount General Hospital treated the software professional for respiratory tract infection.

“The patient didn’t report any history of travel abroad or contact with swine flu cases. There was no reason to suspect the flu, hence we didn’t collect throat swab samples,” said Dr Rushabh Ostwal, physician at Paramount hospital.

Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar confirmed the case and said it was only after the death of Pune student Rida Sheikh (14) that private hospitals were issued fresh instructions for screening.

“Earlier we asked to collect samples if patients had symptoms in addition to history of travel or contact with swine flu victims. Later we said that only symptoms would suffice for a throat swab.”

Kasturba hospital staffers said the patient’s family members have been sent there for testing.