Fortis Hospitals, Cunningham road successfully treated a severe dengue struck patient

Bangalore, December 11, 2017: Doctors at Fortis Hospitals, Cunningham road successfully treated a 37year old male patient who was suffering from severe brain damage and coma as a result of dengue fever. The dengue fever had major problem causing brain damage leading on to coma. The team of doctors was led by Dr. Nithin Kumar N, Consultant Neurologist at Fortis Hospitals, Cunningham road, worked together towards treating the patient with a good outcome.

Mr. Deva, a railway employee, was suffering from feverfor more than a one week. When his consciousness deteriorated further, then hewas finally admitted into the emergency room at the hospital. After repeatedfits or seizures, the patient slipped into coma. He was immediately put on theventilator support and all required instructions were carried out, whichincluded blood investigations, brain scan and spine fluid test. Investigationsrevealed that this patient had dengue infection. However, the MRI brain scandone showed severe brain injury in crucial parts of the brain.

The usual treatment for patients with dengue whichincludes fever, hydration and supportive care was not of much help. With norecognized option left, doctors considered medication which can modulate thealtered immune system which has been considered rarely in some patients in thepast with a small chance of good outcome. With such brain lesions, the chanceof recovery is usually considered as very poor. With the collective team workfrom the doctors at Cunningham road, this patient survived.

DrNithin Kumar N, Consultant Neurologist at FortisHospitals, Cunningham road, said, “The case wascomplex and one of its kind as the patient’s brain lesions were unusual. TheMRI of his brain showed pictures of dengue encephalitis, a rare manifestationof dengue fever, due to which his survival chances were minimal. However, wedid not lose hope and continued the medications, even after being in coma for30 days, with treatment of his immune system, he improved and was removed fromthe ventilator. He started showing positive signs like blinking and smiling.After few weeks’ time, he was removed from all forms of life support system. Hebecame completely conscious by the mid of 5th week and started speakingcoherently. He was recommended physiotherapy at home.”

Surprisingly, patients started showing good response by 2weeks after this therapy. He started opening his eyes, started moving his handsand gradually starting following verbal commands. By the next 2 weeks he wasout of the ventilator and was able to speak clearly with significant recoveryin his mental functions. With rehabilitation he was even able to stand withsupport and taken 2-3 steps during discharge.

Deva’s wife said, “I’m so glad my husband hasrecovered. We were very scared when he started talking slurpy and frequentlyfelt drowsy. His condition is completely revised now and he’s able to move wellwith the physiotherapy care. I appreciate how positively the medical team atFortis took charge of his treatment, their dedication gave us the hope thathelped us go through all of it.”

Dengue outbreaks have continued since the 1950s butseverity of disease has increased in the last two decades. About half of theworld's population is now at risk. As per Ministry of Health andFamily welfare, about 1,00,794 people were diagnosed with dengue amongwhich 172 died across the country this year. In Karnataka, 13,673 cases werereported where 5 people lost their lives. Another study, of the prevalence ofdengue, estimates that 3.9 billion people, in 128 countries, are at risk ofinfection with dengue viruses.

Severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness anddeath among children in some Asian and Latin American countries. The WHO statesthat, there is no specific treatment for dengue/ severe dengue, but earlydetection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%.

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