Most COVID-19 victims in Karnataka had no fever

Most coronavirus patients in Karnataka who died had no fever

The panel has been tasked to answer questions like why the mortality rate in Kerala is less than in Karnataka

An artist gives a final touch to a model based on coronavirus placed alongside a road to raise awareness, in Chennai, Wednesday, April 29, 2020. PTI

A COVID-19 mortality panel of specialists appointed by Karnataka government to probe all 21 virus deaths has found that most patients did not have fever but had cough and breathlessness.

The panel has been tasked to answer questions like why the mortality rate in Kerala is less than in Karnataka. They are studying gaps in treatment and how various district administrations can avoid delays in starting treatment.

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Dr K S Sathish, pulmonologist at Vikram Hospital, who is part of the panel, said, “What is striking is most patients who died, did not have fever. They only had cough and breathlessness. It is already known that most were above the age of 60 and had co-morbidities. It was assumed that breathlessness was due to a pre-existing disease, for example a heart ailment.” 

“We are looking at the reason for death, gaps in detection, delay in patient arrival, what we could have done and what we can recommend district administrations and peripheries where there are no experts and what appropriate treatment they should give if there are gaps. There should be a uniform proforma for the information that should be filled in. We have been asked why there are more deaths here than in Kerala,” he added. 

 

Dr S Sachidanand, vice-chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), who heads the mortality panel, told DH, “We are looking at whether something could have been done to save the patients. Critical aspects like when a patient can be put on a ventilator or intubated. It is not to find fault. Sometimes, patients may have come in at the last minute or must have delayed his/her treatment. We are not saying there is negligence but we are checking if the protocol was
followed.”

The panel is yet to get case sheets of 10 patients from the respective districts. But it has analysed 10 patients’ deaths. The panel comprises 12 specialists including pulmonologists, anaesthetists and general physicians. Dr C Nagaraj from Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and Dr Ravi from BMCRI’s department of medicine are other experts on the panel.