CHENNAI: After spending over 50 days in the hospital following a rare, life-threatening skin condition that she developed as allergic reaction to drugs, K Sharmila is all set to return home.
The 20-year-old developed toxic epidermal necrolysis after being administered injection and tablets for fever by the doctor at a private hospital. “We were told that the doctor gave her Betnesol injection,” said her mother K Bala Saraswathi. The drug is a steroid which is prescribed in cases where fever persists, but in Sharmila’s case it triggered severe allergy.
Dr Anandan, head of Dermatology department at the government Stanley hospital, said Sharmila’s condition could have turned fatal leading to multiple-organ failure had the treatment been delayed.
“This can happen to people suffering asthma, poor immunity and also those sensitive to certain drugs. The patient should warn their doctors about it or it may turn fatal if the drug is repeated,” he added.
According to doctors, only one in a million is affected by toxic epidermal necrolysis annually. “The problem arises when the doctor is not informed about the patient’s medical history or allergies.
Since 2012 , ten such cases of alleged medical negligence related to severe skin allergy have been brought to the notice of Indian Medical Association,” said Dr RVS Surendran, state president of the association.
Sharmila’s case is the second from Chennai in the recent past. In May, over 100 persons picketed a private clinic in north Chennai when S Kamali, a resident of Thiruvottriyur, developed severe skin allergy after taking tablets prescribed for fever. She had to spend one month in the Stanley hospital for treatment.