Objective: To study clinical profiles and outcome of children of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) during 1996 Delhi epidemic.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: Hospital based study.
Methods: Children hospitalized from September to November 1996 were studied. All patients were diagnosed, managed and monitored according to a standard protocol.
Results: One hundred and thirty four children (80 (60%) males and 54 (40%) females) were studied. Sixty (45%) children were less than 6 years of age of which 12 presented during infancy. There were 92 (67%) cases of DHF and 42 (33%) cases of DSS. Common symptoms were fever (93%), abdominal pain (49%) and vomiting (68%). The commonest hemorrhagic manifestation was hematemesis (39%) followed by epistaxis (36%) and skin bleeds (33%). Hepatomegaly was observed in 97 (72%) cases and splenomegaly in 25 (19%). Serology was positive (IgM hemaglutination antibody titres > 1: 160) for dengue type 2 in 31 (80%) of 39 patients in whom sera was tested during the acute phase of illness. Mortality was 6%. Hematocrit > 40% was observed in only 25 (18%) patients and hence the management protocol was based on clinical signs and symptoms and not on hematocrit.
Conclusions: A management protocol of DHF/DSS in which fluid therapy is not based on haematocrit values needs to be formulated.