Dengue Diaries: Day 4

This is a chronicle of events that happened a year ago when I suffered from dengue. You can find the previous entries here: Preface, day 1, day2, day 3, day3contd

Thursday October 25th, 2011 Day 4

At 6am, the nurses are back. After checking BP, temp and pulse, they start the 3rd platelet transfusion. They are also administering an antibiotic- to prevent infection and a steroid- to stimulate platelet production.

J’s sister is coming from Mumbai today to attend their cousin’s wedding set to happen a few days later. As soon as she lands, she comes to see me. J jokes that every time she comes, someone from the family is in the hospital. (The last time she came, just about a year ago, my MIL underwent surgery)

By noon, the remaining 2 pints are also transfused. A blood sample is taken to check the platelet count. In the meantime, I have to go for an abdominal scan (as the dengue virus can cause a leakage of plasma in the abdominal spaces) . Though Dr. S maintains that it is not dengue, she is following the treatment and precautions for the illness.

The scan results are normal, but the platelet counts aren’t. In spite of transfusing 5 pints of platelets, the counts have diminished further to 22,000. Dr S tells us that we need to get SDPs- single donor platelets.

SDPs are obtained from a process called apheresis by which the platelets are separated from other blood components and are more potent than RDPs. SDPs are collected against specific needs and therefore donors have to be arranged. As J cannot donate blood due to a pre-existing condition, we call 2 of our relatives- my cousin and J’s cousin’s husband who both agree.

While I wait, Dr S suggests I go for short walk. As I walk in the gloomy corridors, a middle-aged lady, also a patient comes out of her room to speak to me. She asks me if I have Dengue and enquires about my platelet count. When I say 22,000, she is surprised that I’m allowed to walk around.

She tells me she had severe body pain and exhaustion and when her blood test showed platelet count of 75,000, her doctor asked her to get admitted and she was put on IV fluids. Now her count has come up to 150,000 and hopes to be discharged soon. I want to ask her who her doctor is, just then her phone rings and she goes in to answer it.

Niggling doubts about the hospital and doctor enter my mind. Back in the room, I discuss with my family about shifting to the other hospital which has the blood bank and also better facilities. We inform Dr. S, to our surprise; she agrees immediately and arranges for the transfer. The medical director comes to visit us and recommends another doctor, Dr Kumar, who is a consultant at both hospitals. He would have the health history updated by Dr. S and continue the same treatment.

Later, I realised that I would have to be shifted anyway as the low counts warrant restricted movement and continuous monitoring, only possible in the milieu of an ICU and the current hospital didn’t have one.

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