Child dies of gastroenteritis

The death of a five-year-old child in Tiruvallur district was not due to dengue but acute gastroenteritis, according to public health officials.

However, they stress on the need for increased awareness among the public on seeking medical help and following doctor’s advice as the family, after admitting the child to the Tiruttani Government Hospital, left the hospital on their own on the night of October 13.

The girl, a resident of Kamaraj Nagar, Mathur, was suffering from fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. She was treated by a private doctor, who referred her to the Tiruttani GH.

“She was admitted to the hospital on October 13. However, the family left the hospital at 9.30 p.m. The next day, they went again to the private doctor, who told them to immediately admit the child. They took her to the GH at Arakkonam and later to the Institute of Child Health, Egmore. However, she died on the way to the hospital,” a public health officer said.

Her blood sample drawn at the Tiruttani GH tested negative for dengue, he said, adding: “Her platelet count was low. She had acute gastroenteritis.”

Step-down wards

Another health official said as per the current practice, patients with fever should be admitted to a hospital for six days.

“There should be more awareness at the community level. In case of dengue, it is the fourth, fifth and sixth day of fever that needs monitoring as complications, such as bleeding, could arise. We have set up step-down wards to observe patients with fever,” he said.

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