100-patient study to get to root of dengue mortality

A group of critical care experts in the city has enrolled nearly 100 dengue patients in ICU settings to study the intensity of the infection and reasons that could lead to multiple organ failure in dengue patients.

The subjects are drawn from the ICUs of 17 hospitals in the city.

Dr Shirish Prayag, former president of the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM) said a preliminary study two years ago involved a small sample of ICU patients.

"However, we found that a low platelet count is just one of the features of dengue-related sickness. The higher mortality rate was related more to blood pressure drop and loss of consciousness. This formed some of the worrisome findings of the study," Prayag said.

This year saw 2,421 dengue cases across the state, more than double the 1,181 last year. The disease also claimed 61 lives this year against 25 last year. According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, this year there were over 30,000 dengue cases and more than 200 deaths across the country.

According to Awate, most deaths in the state this year were from Nashik. In Pune, the Pune Municipal Corporation has since April this year registered 7 deaths and more than 800 confirmed dengue cases.

Dr Pradip Awate, head of state integrated disease surveillance cell said they had observed a cyclical trend where the virus remained subdued for a few years before emerging with renewed force.

This year, too, there has been a spurt in dengue cases and the study has been expanded to cover a larger number of dengue patients at 17 hospitals, Prayag said.

Dr Prayag said, the basic aim of the study — it will also take into consideration treatment strategies in the ICU — is to find reasons other than low-platelet count and bleeding for multi-organ failure.

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