Danger of spreading infection in Delhi rape victim: Doctors

New Delhi,Health/Medicine, Fri, 21 Dec 2012 IANS
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New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) The 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim was "stable" but there was a danger of infection spreading in her body in the next few days, doctors said here Friday adding that the infection hasn't "flared up" as of now.

"Her WBC (white blood cell) count is 1,500 which is low and this means that she is less immune to infections... These are early signs of sepsis," B.D. Athani, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, told reporters here.

"The next three to four days are very crucial," he added.

Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition characterised by a whole-body inflammatory state caused by severe infection. The normal WBC count is between 4,000 to 11,000 cells per cubic millimetre.

"To fight the infection, we are administering antibiotics to the patient. We are also maintaining the highest levels of hygiene in her ward. I request members of the public to try and not visit the victim's ward, so that its level of hygiene is maintained," said Athani.

The doctors further said that the woman's blood platelet count had gone up on its own from 41,000 earlier to 61,000. The normal platelet count in a healthy individual is between 150,000 and 450,000.

The woman, who had been on a ventilator since Sunday night, is now able to breathe "comfortably" without it for several hours.

"Yesterday (Thursday) we removed the ventilator at 12.30 p.m. and she was breathing comfortably till the time we put it back at 2 a.m.," said the doctor.

Aruna Batra, head of the department (gynaecology) told IANS, that the infection had neither "flared up" nor was it spreading as of now.

The doctors also said the victim will have to depend on total parenteral nutrition (TPN) which means providing nutrition via the intravenous route.

The young woman, who hails from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, has written several notes to her family.

Doctors Wednesday conducted a two-hour surgery to remove a section of the intestine that had become gangrenous.

The woman's savage rape and torture occurred Sunday night when she and her male friend boarded a private bus, used for ferrying school children, in south Delhi after watching a movie.

She was brutally assaulted in the moving bus. Her male friend who tried to save her was beaten by the rapists. Both were dumped by the roadside after some 40 minutes.

Five people have been arrested in the case.

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