GRH doctors successfully treat a 5-yr-old for diphtheria infection


The doctors of Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) successfully treated a five-year-old boy suffering from diphtheria infection, which had caused severe complications like myocarditis and neuropathy.

A press release from GRH Dean J. Sangumani said that the five-year-old patient was referred from Dindigul Government Hospital with complaints of fever, breathlessness and difficulty in walking. He was admitted to the GRH on October 31, 2020.

On examination he was found to be lethargic, dyspneic, and had an increased heart rate. He had minimal weakness in all the limbs. His Echo test showed poor cardiac function, which indicated that he was suffering from myocarditis and he was given treatment for it.

Within a few days, he developed weakness of voice, regurgitation through the nose and progressive weakness of all the limbs.

As he had both the symptoms of myocarditis and neuropathy, the possibility of the patient suffering from diphtheria was suspected. He was then given an anti-diphtheritic serum. He was put on ventilator support as his breathing became difficult and was administered Intravenous Immunoglobulin. His throat swab also tested positive for diphtheria. As he needed prolonged ventilation, tracheostomy was performed and he was ventilated for nearly two months.

His health gradually improved and he was taken out of ventilator support. The tracheostomy tube was removed and the child was breathing normally now.

The patient is able to walk on his own and was discharged on January 29.

Head of the Department of Paediatrics S. Balasankar said that the child had suffered from two severe complications of diphtheria – myocarditis and neuropathy.

The Dean congratulated Dr. Balasankar, Nandhini Kuppusamy, D. Rajkumar and assistant professors of the paediatric department.

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