Sat | Feb 23, 2019

Misdiagnosis deadly in dengue epidemic

Published:Saturday | January 19, 2019 | 12:14 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Condolences to the family of Rihanna Rupon, the four-year-old Kingston girl who died from dengue on January 8. It is a tragedy for a parent to lose a child.

Now the blame game has begun. Medical doctors didn't need to wait on Health Minister Christopher Tufton to announce a dengue outbreak. Every day they see patients with dengue-like symptoms, but they don't send them to do lab tests to confirm their diagnosis.

Doctors use mostly their experience to diagnose and treat patients. When the medication isn't working, they then send patients to laboratories. A lab test should be the first action. Otherwise, doctors are operating blindly and can misdiagnosed. In dengue haemorraghic fever, a misdiagnosis kills.

MARK CLARKE

mark.clarke476@gmail.com