Its been a while since I updated the Dengue Diairies. As I have been getting queries about the rest of the story, have decided to continue with it. Those, who have missed the previous entries, can find it here: Preface, day1 , day2 and day3
Wednesday, October 24th. Day 3 contd..
I’m at the hospital waiting for the formalities of admission. I’m a bit nervous as I’m unfamiliar with this hospital! But Dr S assures us that the hospital is well-equipped and the nursing staff well-trained. After the formalities, I ‘m taken to the emergency ward where there is a flurry of activity. Three nurses materialize suddenly. One checks the triumvirate of BP, temp and pulse. Another jabs my left arm to insert the IV line while the third jabs my right to draw blood for the platelet count.
I start to feel like royalty! Impressed with their alacrity, my fears about the hospital are allayed.
At the private ward, a half hour later, the blood results are in. The count has dipped to 37,000 (Normal range is 150 K to 450 K). Dr S says I need to get platelets transfused as the low counts are a risk for internal bleeding. (Platelets play an important role in the clotting of blood and very low quantities of platelets can lead to spontaneous bleeding).
We have to go the blood bank at a nearby hospital to acquire the platelets. J calls my sis for advice. In her opinion, platelet transfusion is done only if the counts are below 25,000.But Dr S is adamant about going ahead with it.
So, with a reference letter, J goes to the blood bank. He is told that only RDPs or Random Donor Platelets are available. At that time, we didn’t know much about platelet collection or RDPs. I found out that these are platelets obtained from whole blood in routine blood donations and pooled from several donors as the quantity of platelets obtained from whole blood is very little. After consulting with Dr S, he picks up 5 pints of RDPs.
Back in the ward, the nurse sets up the first transfusion and instructs me to inform her if there’s any itching. Since the RDP is collected from whole blood, there could be some blood components which can cause an allergic reaction. The 2nd round of transfusion is started after a gap of half hour. Shortly, I feel some itching on my right arm and soon there are rashes all over my body. I ring for the nurse who stops the transfusion, injects an anti-allergy medicine and then restarts the transfusion.
It’s 11 pm when the transfusion is complete. The nurses decide to continue the transfusions in the morning. J goes back home while my mom keeps me company in the ward. I am suddenly aware of the loud firecrackers being burst outside and can smell the acrid smoke. I think about my younger son who was so keen on firecrackers this year. We didn’t even get a chance to buy any, but no one’s in the mood to celebrate Diwali anymore!