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Dengue Shock Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment

Dengue Shock Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment

Dengue is a common mosquito-borne disease. In some cases, dengue progresses and becomes fatal. Dengue shock syndrome, also known as severe dengue or dengue hemorrhagic fever, is a complication of dengue that causes hemorrhaging or bleeding inside the body. This ultimately results in death if not treated carefully. Here are the dengue shock syndrome symptoms and treatments.

Types of Dengue

This disease is classified into three types:

  • Dengue without warning signs
  • Dengue with warning signs
  • Severe Dengue

In patients with dengue that manifest warning signs, the most typical symptoms are:

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Pain in muscles, joints, and behind the eyes
  • Rashes
  • Severe Headaches

There is no specific treatment for dengue but paracetamol is used to control the fever, muscle aches, and pain.

Dengue Shock Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment: What To Watch Out For

If the immune system can no longer fight off the dengue virus and stop it from replicating, the virus spreads throughout the bloodstream and into the organs. The virus then causes the cells of the organs to become permeable, which results in fluid leaking out of the organs.

A person with dengue usually enters the stage of severe dengue around 3-7 days after the illness began. It is normal for dengue patients to have high fever but as they progress into severe dengue, the temperature drops to below 38°C. Even if there is no fever, the patient will continue to feel unwell.

Signs that a person might be having severe dengue are:

  • The skin becomes cool
  • Red blots are found all over the skin
  • Blue discoloration around the mouth (circumoral cyanosis)
  • Rapid weak pulse or beating of the heart (tachycardia)
  • Black tarry stool

At this point, if the person does not receive proper treatment, they may die within the next 24-48 hours.

Symptoms of severe dengue also include:

  • Severe pain in the stomach or abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling weak and tired
  • Breathing Rapidly
  • Nose Bleeding (epistaxis)
  • Bleeding in the gums
  • Bleeding under the skin
  • Vaginal bleeding and intracranial bleeding in severe cases

When a patient starts to bleed a lot within the body, this eventually causes a shock. Blood pressure becomes too low, and the heart can no longer pump effectively. Following this, the organs no longer receive oxygen. Multiple organs may stop functioning properly, which can result in death.

Treating Dengue at Home: Home Remedies For Dengue Fever

Dengue Shock Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment: What To Do Next

Primary Care Tips

Dengue shock syndrome symptoms and treatment vary from one patient to another. When a person starts manifesting signs and symptoms of severe dengue, they must be rushed to the emergency room immediately.

If the person cannot be rushed to the hospital immediately, here are some primary care tips to follow:

  • If the person is persistently vomiting, have them consistently take small amounts of fluid
  • Let them continue fluid intake until their skin becomes warm
  • Give them paracetamol every 6 hours
  • Do not give them aspirin
  • Avoid giving food or fluids that contain salicylic acids such as guava, pineapple and orange. Salicylic acid can cause bleeding and irritation in the stomach.

Always refer to a doctor for medical advice regarding dengue.

Hospital Treatment

Once the person arrives at the hospital, medical professionals will take the necessary steps to address dengue shock syndrome symptoms. These include:

  • Immediate replacement of plasma loss. When a person enters the stage of severe dengue, the major abnormality seen in the patient is the leakage of plasma from the cells of the body. When this happens, medical professionals will intravenously administer liquids that will help raise plasma in the body.
  • Continued replacement of further plasma loss. Plasma loss may continue for 24-48 hrs. During this period, liquids to help raise plasma are administered continually. Plasma replacement is discontinued once vital signs are stable, there is good urine flow, and laboratory results indicate normality. Return of the person’s appetite is also a good indication that they are recovering.
  • Sedatives. Restlessness is associated with severe dengue. If the patient is agitated, the doctor can administer sedatives to calm the patient. Sedatives can be administered orally or rectally.
  • Oxygen Therapy. When the patient is in shock or when blood pressure is too low for a period of time, medical professionals will let the patient inhale oxygen through a mask or tent to avoid organ dysfunction due to lack of oxygen in the organs.
  • Platelet Transfusion. Platelets are the component in the blood that stops bleeding. In severe cases of dengue where there is internal bleeding, a platelet transfusion is administered to prevent and stop bleeding in the organs.

Key Takeaway

Dengue can progress into dengue shock syndrome. Dengue shock syndrome involves bleeding in the organs, which may eventually lead to multiple organ dysfunction. If the patient is not immediately rushed to the hospital for proper treatment and monitoring, the syndrome can cause death.

Learn more about Infectious Diseases here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/resources/denguedhf-information-for-health-care-practitioners_2009.pdf

Accessed February 6, 2021

 

Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/resources/denguedhf-information-for-health-care-practitioners_2009.pdf

Accessed February 6, 2021

 

Dengue haemorrhagic fever: diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control. 2nd edition. Geneva : World Health Organization.: Primary health care, https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/dengue/067-69.pdf?ua=1

Accessed February 6, 2021

 

Dengue haemorrhagic fever: diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control. 2nd edition. Geneva : World Health Organization.: Treatment, https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/dengue/024-33.pdf?ua=1

Accessed February 6, 2021

 

Dengue and Severe Dengue, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue

Accessed February 6, 2021

 

Dengue Case Management, https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/resources/dengue-clinician-guide_508.pdf

Accessed February 6, 2021

 

Dengue haemorrhagic fever: diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control. 2nd edition. Geneva : World Health Organization., https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/dengue/Denguepublication/en/

Accessed February 6, 2021

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Written by Hazel Caingcoy Updated Apr 14
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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