Dengue has become an epidemic What is Dengue? Learn more and protect yourself

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By 2017-08-14

By Subhani M. Aarachchige

There is much talk in the country about the drop in the platelet count due to the epidemic of Dengue. The word 'platelets' has become that much more popular. It is suitable to provide some details here regarding platelets, for people who do not know much about them to get to know as well. What is the main task of platelets? They help in the clotting of blood in the body at a required time. During an instance when some tissue in the body is damaged and bleeding occurs, bleeding from the injured area is prevented through this clotting.

The importance of this is extremely great. If the number of platelets reduces by some quantity, bleeding can take place. Even if a minor scratch or bruise occurs on the body there could be bleeding or something similar to a patch of blood beneath the skin.Similarly, patches of blood can appear on the corneas of the eyes. Not only that there could be bleeding from the nose and from gums as well.

Quite apart from that, bleeding can occur internally in the body. It is most dangerous as it is not visible from the exterior. During such serious bleeding, the chance for damage to the patient's life is very high.

See, unlike any other part of the body, if such bleeding occurs inside the brain how dangerous would it turn out to be? Sometimes, not only paralysis but there is room for death to occur too.

The seriousness most often is for Cancer patients. However, for a Dengue patient too, reducing of platelets as well as other reasons has an impact during the risk phase. In a Dengue patient, most often, with the drop in platelets if bleeding occurs it could destroy life too.

Doctors qualified to do so give two doses of gemcitabine and carry out the test of a full blood count several times. That is done to identify ahead of time patients who tend to have a drop in the platelet count to even less than that of a level of risk. Patients who pass that minimum risk level are given platelets through blood transfusion. If the platelet count drops below the minimum risk level especially for dengue patients, blood transfusions are done.

Therefore, while the number of patients due to the Dengue epidemic is increasing rapidly across the country, you, your children and other relations too should be aware of this. Isn't that very important?

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