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Capital sees first H1N1 deaths

The Capital reported its first H1N1 fatality late on Wednesday night,with a 38-year-old woman succumbing to severe pneumonia at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
August 21, 2009 12:05:12 am

The Capital reported its first H1N1 fatality late on Wednesday night,with a 38-year-old woman succumbing to severe pneumonia at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

A few hours later,early on Thursday morning,31-year-old Samrat Pandya died in the same hospital — days after he had a cardiac arrest due to lung infection.

The state government maintains that both patients,Renu Gupta and Samrat Pandya,“could have been saved” had they come to government hospitals directly.

“It is very unfortunate that the patients — both of whom could have been saved — have become victims of H1N1. We have no doubt in saying that they died due to delay in reaching the nodal treatment centres,” said Kiran Walia,Delhi Health Minister.

As per hospital records,Gupta had visited Singapore and Hong Kong and returned on August 15. By the time she came to the hospital on August 19,she had acute respiratory distress and bi-lateral pneumonia. “Both her lungs were infected and her oxygen saturation was less than 20 per cent,” said Dr N K Chaturvedi,Medical Superintendent,RML Hospital. “She was immediately put on ventilator,but since she could not breathe at all,her condition deteriorated.” In Pandya’s case,there had been a delay of four days,which cost him his life,said Chaturvedi.

“Neither patient had underlying illnesses which would have made their cases complicated,” he said. “But it was the delay in treatment that resulted in the deaths.”

Following the deaths,the RML hospital authorities said people should have more faith in government facilities.

“All government doctors are trained and our hospitals are well equipped to deal with H1N1 patients,” said Chaturvedi. “Going to private hospitals will only delay the treatment and is not advisable. Though these deaths are unfortunate,I hope people will come straight to designated hospitals after these avoidable incidents.”

Eleven cases of H1N1 were tested positive on Thursday. The authorities said none of the patients in Delhi are in a critical condition.

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