DAK seeks audit of swine flu deaths

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SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday sought an audit of the deaths caused due to Swine flu in Kashmir Valley.
DAK President and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said these are “preventable” deaths and the audit will unravel the circumstances that led to these avoidable deaths.
“It will assess whether what is recommended was done or not and will fix the responsibility on hospitals and medical practitioners for these amenable deaths,” Dr Nisar said. “Kashmir recorded highest number of deaths due to swine flu this season. Most of these deaths were because of delay in seeking medical help.”
He said in the hospitals, there was delay in the institution of antiviral medication adding that early antiviral treatment has been shown to provide life-saving benefits to flu patients. “Flu vaccine which is the single best defense to protect people from dying was not offered to them,” he said.
Dr Nisar said while it is mandatory to report and inform public about swine flu cases, health officials concealed them that resulted in spread of disease and increased number of deaths. “Timely reporting of flu cases is essential to prevent the spread of disease and save lives. That way people can take precautions and protect themselves and folks around them,” he said.
DAK president said swine flu is a respiratory disease which manifests with cough, fever, sore-throat, runny nose and bodyache. “It spreads mainly by droplets when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Hand washing and respiratory etiquette are two ways to prevent the spread of disease.”
“Cold climate is favourable for the virus to flourish and flu season begins in October and can last as late as May,” he informed.
Dr Nisar said high risk like young children, senior citizens, pregnant women and persons with medical conditions need to be more cautious and report to doctor immediately if they have any swine flu symptoms.
“Those who have been diagnosed with swine flu and are on OPD basis treatment should observe isolation at home to break the chain of infection,” he said.