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Posts tagged with: medical

The Debackle that Sucked the Marrow of Life

A look into the sordid state of Health Care Delivery Systems in Pakistan; Deaths from the so-called “P.I.C Syndrome”; How it has shaken our trust in the pills we buy and the leaders we “TRY” !

ISO TAB kills people in PunjabOn Dec 15, 2011, 56-year old Abdul Ghaffur (AG) reported to Mayo Hospital Lahore with bleeding from his nose. AG was a known patient of Diabetes and also Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD), a condition that leads to heart attack if not managed continually for life. Although he didn’t complain of fever or body aches, and the cold weather didn’t suggest Dengue Fever, yet his Dengue Serology was sent as the City had just three months back recovered from the worst Dengue Endemic. What the Mayo doctors didn’t know was that scores of patients with similar complaints were presenting at all other major tertiary care hospitals Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, Ganga Raam, and Lahore General Hospital. It was a trailer of what was to come in the running month, hordes of heart patients with bleeding from nose, in stools and in vomits, rashes, and various grades and types of skin darkening reported to the Emergency Rooms of the above facilities.

What set these patients from Dengue sufferers was the absence of fever and an abnormally cold spell that was unfavorable to any Aedes Aegypti larval growth. And what bound them was their P.I.C cards and the common illnesses for which they received free medicines from P.I.C. AG’s Dengue Test turned up negative and it took the most skilled Physicians at Mayo almost 19 days (4th Jan, 2012) to realize that AG’s bone marrow(BM) had shut down and he had a mysterious darkening if his face and limbs. By 11th Jan, 2012 a one-off inter-hospital coordination established that all 465 patients belonged to P.I.C. AG died on 15th Jan, 2012 despite the best available care. His White Blood Cells_ the cavalry of human body’s defence against any bug entering it had fallen too low after the BM stopped making them and his Diabetes had further weakened his ability to fight the massive infections that ultimately took his life.

By Jan 26th, 2012 seventy-nine of the ‘465’ patients died. By 2nd Feb, 2012, the count had soared to 130 odd. Almost all of the dead dying because their old age, weakened defences and a bone marrow that failed to regain its functions despite treatment, made fighting the subsequent infections impossible with antibiotics alone. Even today, despite the Royal Free Hospitals’ (Britian) suggested treatment (Leucovorin/Folinic Acid) few more lost their life…

So was the Anti-Malarial Drug, Pyrimethamine the real bugaboo behind this massacre? (as suggested by the Britians’ Medicine & Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) preliminary findings). Does it explain all the complaints these patients presented with at hospitals or is something else at play? How can our health care professionals miss the classic presentations of Pyrimethamine Toxicity if the patients only suffered its excessive dosing?
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Brain Eating Amoeba invades Pakistan

It is with a very heavy heart that I share this medical alert, my Father-in-Law Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Khalid passed away on Friday 22nd October 2010 after having been infected with a very rare form of fungal meningitis known as Naegleria Fowleri. He was admitted into the hospital with symptoms of meningitis, but over the next few days suffered from Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis which is widespread destruction of the brain tissues caused by the bacteria to have finally having succumbed within the week.

Naegleria Fowleri, also known as the “brain-eating amoeba” is a bacteria typically found in warm water, such as ponds, lakes, rivers and hot springs. It is also found in soil, near warm water discharges of industrial plants, and also can exist in under-maintained or minimally chlorinated swimming pools, though there is no evidence of this amoeba found in ocean water. It is most potent in warm water anywhere above 42°C, at this temperature where it actively reproduces transmits and thrives on brain tissue, while it is known to go in a state of hibernation in cooler temperatures awaiting better conditions.
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Guidelines for Medical Clinics in Flood Affected Areas

I stumbled across this briliant document prepared by Dr. Shehla Baqi and her associates, they been doing outstanding flood relief in the region from the start and have drafted this document which can truly serve as a survival guide to managing and running a medical camp in the flood affected region of Pakistan.  I must thank the Dr. Shahla, the Infections disease society of Pakistan and the various co-authors for taking the time to prepare this amazing document and be willing to share it publicly for the greater good. The original document in DOC, PDF & TXT format can be downloaded from Scribd under a Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial license

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Adventures in Hingol | Appeal for Medical Camp

A month ago in early February during the recent Kara Film Festival in Karachi there aired a 60-minute documentary about the offroad adventures of the Karachi based 4×4 Club OffRoadPakistan.com – this travel documentary was produced and directed by Mahera Omer of AFewMOFilms who herself is an avid offroad is now available online and can be viewed on Google Video.

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Doctors Told to Shut Up

In an investigative report appearing in Washington Post it seems there was an elaborate plan to cover up the evidence relating to the Assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The Washington Post have expressed their concern to say that the Pakistani authorities have pressured the medical personnel who tried to save Benazir Bhutto’s life to remain silent about what happened in her final hour and have removed records of her treatment from the facility, according to doctors. It seems all this cover-up slowly got exposed since the video and images of the assassination become public after Musharraf’s propaganda team tried to spoof its way through a fabricated medical report

In an interview with the doctors who were at Bhutto’s side at the Rawalpindi General Hospital said that they were under extreme pressure not to share details about the nature of the injuries that the opposition leader suffered in an attack, “The government took all the medical records right after Ms. Bhutto’s time of death was read out,” said the visibly shaken doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Sweating and putting his head in his hands, he said: “Look, we have been told by the government to stop talking. And a lot of us feel this is a disgrace.”

Jameel Yusuf, a lead investigator in the 2002 disappearance of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi, said the Pakistani government had blundered badly by not sealing off the crime scene. Moments after Bhutto was killed, workers hosed down the blood at the blast site before any evidence could be collected. “When you’re dealing with a murder of this nature, you need to have forensics,” Yusuf said.