In recent years the effects of Swine flu (H1N1) disease has increased rapidly around the country but thanks to new technology and treatment methods that have been developed to counter the diseases.
The Live Nagpur team talked to Dr Jayesh Timane MBBS, DMB medicine, EDIC and a Head of Department of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at KRIMS Hospitals about the role of ICU and how H1N1 disease can be detected at an early stage.
What is Intensive Care Unit?
Intensive care unit cater to patients with severe or life-threatening illnesses and injuries, which require constant care, close supervision from life support equipment and medication in order to ensure normal bodily functions. They are staffed by highly trained physicians and nurses who specialize in caring for critically ill patients. ICUs are also distinguished from general hospital wards by a higher staff-to-patient ratio and to access to advanced medical resources and equipment that is not routinely available elsewhere. Common conditions that are treated within ICU include acute (or adult) respiratory distress syndrome, hypertension, metastases and other life-threatening conditions. Patients may be referred directly from an emergency department if required, or from a ward if they rapidly deteriorate, or immediately after surgery if the surgery is very invasive and the patient is at high risk of complications.
What are the new technologies came in ICU?
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is used for treating patients as it give an extra support to patients, apart from this many new drugs have came for various infection treatments. The diagnostic facility has been improved in Nagpur. First H1N1 flu samples were sent to other cities but now with the help of various equipment’s and new techniques we are now able to detect it in few hours.
How is H1N1 difficult to treat?
H1N1 commonly known as swine flu is just a variant of normal flu but it is in aggressive form. Only 15-20% patients are kept in ICU the disease takes away lungs capacity to make oxygen. In such circumstances doctors try various things like giving forced oxygen and in extreme conditions even keep patient on ventilator.
What are the symptoms of H1N1?
As this is an aggressive version of normal flu person can suffer from fever, sour throat, Body pain, Diarrhea but the risk increases when these effects take a sever turn one should immediately consult a doctor.
How is H1N1 diagnosed?
H1N1 is diagnosed with a simple method called throat swap, but its cost is at a higher side. Earlier we had to send the samples other cities but with time the equipment are now available in our city which helps in giving faster results.
What is the role of ICU while treating H1N1?
H1N1 is contagious disease and the person should be kept in an isolated room with precaution. ICU as it deals with emergency cases, monitoring frequent changes in patients after treatments this way the patient can be easily treated without spreading the diseases to other patients.
What are the drugs used in the treatment?
Oseltemivir which is commonly known as Tami Flu/Anti Flu is one of the most common drug which is freely available by prescription of the doctors.
What are the complications faced by the patients apart from Flu?
Apart from sever flu one can also suffer from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and is the most common problem faced by the patients. Meningitis, shock, kidney dis-function are some other problems faced.
Why is it that after some time people loses faith in Doctors?
We doctors do our best to save a life, but some diseases require long treatment and a hefty amount of money for the treatments and even after days when the patients does not recover fully it gradually sparks a trust issue between patients and doctor but one must understand that these doctors to their best to save a patient.
Your Message for all
As the summer is on its full swing one should drink more water, if suffering from prolonged flu one must visit doctor and have a check-up, and should not be afraid as timely treatment of H1N1 will lead to a good outcome.