The city recorded the first swine flu (H1N1) death on Monday as a 72-year-old man from Kharadi died at Inlaks and Budhrani hospital here. Dr Anjali Sabne, acting deputy medical officer of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said that the patient was also suffering from coronary artery disease when he was detected with swine flu.
The victim suffered from symptoms like cold and cough from December 29 and got admitted to the hospital on December 30. His swab tested positive for H1N1 virus and he was immediately given Tamiflu (anti-viral medication). However, he succumbed on January 4.
Last year, there were 1,126 cases of swine flu in Pune, and out of 153 deaths, a total of 50 were residents of the city, Sabne added.
Meanwhile, Subash Salunke, chairman of the state expert committee on communicable diseases in his interim report to the government stated that swine flu case s are set to rise and the peak months would be February and March. Salunke told The Indian Express that they had observed specific instances where some H1N1 patients could have been saved had they been managed better.
“There were 890 deaths across the state. We observed some instances where some of the patients could have been saved had they been provided with better ventilation at the ICU,” Salunke said. He has now recommended a death audit of swine flu cases so that clinicians can improve patient management skills.
“We are certain that the number of cases are going to rise due to temperature fluctuations,” Salunke reiterated, saying that a welcome sign was the vaccine being used against H1N1.
“As many as 30,000 pregnant women have taken the vaccine against swine flu across the state. However what is important is that the clinicians, anaesthetists and other ICU staff should be thoroughly trained towards better patient management. We have recommended that the state government take immediate steps in this regard and have also informed medical colleges and private hospitals to remain alert and upgrade themselves in better patient management skills,” Salunke further said.