Mehta’s Hospital declares 20-month-old dead on Friday. This is the first known case of death due to dengue in the city this year

The first known case of death due to dengue in the city this year, was recorded at a private children’s hospital in Chetpet on Friday. Mehta’s Hospital declared a 20-month-old child as having died of dengue.

K. Nithish, a resident of Tiruvengada Iya Street behind Villivakkam police station, came down with fever on August12. His mother Devika, took the child to a nearby clinic where the doctor prescribed “Dolo syrup” for the baby, and asked her to return with the baby three days later. However, two days later, even though the child’s fever subsided, Devika noticed that he was sleeping all the time and that his fingers had turned cold. She took him to the doctor who prescribed tests.

Based on the results, the private practitioner advised that Nitish be admitted to a children’s hospital. Nitish was admitted to Mehta’s on August15, and remained in the paediatric intensive care unit until Wednesday. According to the child’s relatives he was shifted to the high dependency unit, and later moved to the ICU. On Friday, around 5.30 a.m., he was declared dead.

Nitish’s father is a loadman in a company that transports air-conditioners. Nitish has an older brother, aged four. The family has paid Rs. 1.5 lakh towards the child’s treatment. They have purchased seven units of white blood cells and three units of blood as part of the treatment, at a cost of Rs. 3,500 per unit.

According to them, the hospital demanded Rs. 66,000 more before they would hand over the body. “When we threatened to protest, they relented and gave the body to us,” said K. Samarasam, Nitish’s paternal grandfather.

When asked why they did not opt for treatment at a government hospital, the parents said that though the first doctor had suggested the Government Children’s Hospital, they opted for the private hospital because they believed that services would be better there.

A senior doctor at the hospital said that the authorities had waived some charges after the family expressed an inability to pay.

In a press note however, the Chennai Corporation stated that the child had been to Vellore two days before falling ill, and had died of multiple organ failure and not of dengue.

Dengue is a viral infection spread by female Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in stagnant fresh water. The mosquito is active during the early morning hours and late evenings before dusk. Dengue can be prevented if larval and adult mosquito samplings are taken up and mosquito breeding is prevented through biological control and disease surveillance.

Keywords: dengue death

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