Instead of saving the life of a patient, they are saving the life of a drug! That best explains the attitude of the King George's Medical University doctors towards their first case of dengue fever to be admitted. To conduct pathological examination of blood, only a few ELIZA kits are available with the department of microbiology. Once opened, the kits expire in three months and the department wants to hold them back until more cases come up. So for the time being, doctors are treating the patient on the basis of report from a private pathology.
Dozens of cases are getting admitted with similar symptoms everyday to various hospitals, and facilities to meet the crisis are not enough. Over a dozen persons lost their lives in the State in the past two years, all due to delay in treatment of dengue and other vector borne diseases.
The patient at KGMU, Akhilesh (20), is resident of Vikas Nagar, was brought to the department from a private hospital complaining of high fever two days back.
He was referred to KGMU after his blood samples were sent for antibody test (IgG and IgM tests) on suspicion and the reports confirmed 'dengue' on August 28.
Doctors gave him protocol treatment and kept him under observation for 24-hours. As his blood platelet count went down from 33,000 cubic mm to 28,000 cubic mm on Thursday, he developed symptoms and doctors confirmed it was dengue.
“We have only a few ELIZA kits with us that expire within 3 months once opened. We can’t afford to open them for one patient,” said the head of the microbiology department Dr SK Agrawal.
Health department, on the other hand, is busy planning fogging to check transmission of vector-borne diseases through mosquitoes. “Anti-larva spray was done in Vikas Nagar area after we got information about a suspected case of dengue from the area getting admitted to KGMU. Fogging would be done on Friday to check virus transmission through mosquitoes,” said Dr AK Singh district malaria officer. KGMU's medicine department building being under construction, two wards were closed for patients. Subsequently, male and female patients are in the same ward. Moreover, even suspected cases of dengue and other infectious diseases are in same ward.
Head of the department of medicine Dr Mam Chandra said, “Since wards are under construction, bed strength has gone down to half. But all patients have to be taken care of so they have been accommodated in other wards with us.” Dr Chandra has shot a letter to department of microbiology for providing lab facility for suspected dengue patients. Administration of other government hospitals like Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Civil Hospital are on their toes since news of suspected dengue cases spread. “We have yet to get dengue cases but have ordered for the kit as a precautionary measure. One kit caters to 96 tests, which may be sufficient for a month,” said chief medical officer of Lohia hospital Dr AK Chawla. City hospitals admit patients whose platelet count is stable while those with low count are referred to KGMU. In the present situation, KGMU may face difficulty in case number of patients rises.