My mother survived dengue

Never place blind trust in doctors and always double check everything yourself, even if you are in a hurry.

Amina Mian September 14, 2011
I remember dengue fever, which is now spreading like an epidemic, was completely unknown in our part of the world a couple of years ago.  For the past two months we kept hearing about the increasing number of dengue cases in the Punjab province but we never really paid heed to the warnings.

I didn’t bother about specific preventive measures since I was never a really a Mospel person in any case.

I will never ignore such warnings again in my life as my mother suffered from dengue this Ramazan.

My mother had a fever that came and went, when we had her blood checked we found that her platelet count was 36. The normal range is meant to be between 150-400 per liter of blood. Thus 36 was devastatingly low.

The first thing that came to our minds was to get my mother hospitalized, since if you delay the problem and do not go for proper treatment with such a low count of platelets, the disease can be fatal.

All night we moved from one hospital to the other, and to our dismay, every hospital was full of dengue patients and was running at full capacity.  Different private hospitals had no consultants on duty during the weekend and everything was left in the hands of nurses and house job doctors.  I had no idea that we would need a contact for getting a private room in hospital as well.

After much struggle and use of different connections, we got a room in a prestigious  semi-private hospital in Lahore.  Surprisingly, there was only one nurse on duty for an overwhelming twenty-five rooms. Most of the staff was on a long leave even two days after the Eid vacations had ended.

The situation was getting graver by the minute as my mother’s platelet count had dropped to 25.

We had to forcefully call the doctor from the emergency room to examine her and call for a blood donor. The donor was cross matched and was approved by the hospital.  Half an hour later, my mother was injected with the platelets. However, they had a negative reaction with her blood and she started to shiver uncontrollably and subsequently collapsed.

There we were in a hospital famous for its doctors and staff and just because of their negligence my mother could have died right there. Could doctors and blood bank staff be so careless so as to declare a donor match fit without even testing it?
Although my mother survived the phase and her dengue fever subsided, the mismatched platelets have led to her suffering now from severe bacterial septicemia, commonly known as blood poisoning.  The doctor has no answer for the negligence on his part.

From all this we learned a serious lesson in life - never place blind trust in doctors and always double check everything yourself, even if you are in a fervent hurry to try and save your loved one.

The government should really take measures against such negligence on the doctor's part. Moreover, dengue camps should provide people with more facilities than just a Complete Blood Count  check (CBC)  and the Panadols they hand out to every patient without even knowing their complete medical history.
WRITTEN BY:
Amina Mian An undergrad student at LUMS majoring in Social Sciences
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (27)

Zobia Javed | 9 years ago | Reply I agree with Dr. Hassan. At least someone is doing their best to literate people and to provide them awareness about disease.
Dr. Ghulam Hassan | 9 years ago | Reply @ Sadaf: I don't know what you want to point out. But, I am the regular blogger and doctor as well. I read above posts. I believe that information provided at many online websites are true. @ Readers: There is no need worries about dengue infection too much. Dengue is easily treatable if it is diagnosed at early stages. @ Tribune Team: Thanks to Tribune team for enabling (proving them a chance) bloggers to write about dengue crisis. At least bloggers are the people that are providing people the information in correct form and easy way in Urdu.
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