PMC report: 60% swine flu deaths not primarily due to swine flu

Recently, the state government had ordered all the local corporations to formulate a ‘death audit committee’ to analyse whether deaths reported due to swine flu are actually swine flu deaths. They were also asked to see if there were other primary causes for the death of a person apart from swine flu

PMC report: 60% swine flu deaths not primarily due to swine flu
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In the recently released ‘death audit committee’s’  first report from Pune, revealed that around 60 per cent of swine flu related deaths are not primarily because of swine flu itself.

It has concluded that already existing diseases were the main factors that led to the deaths and although the patient was suffering from swine flu it was not the main cause of death.

Recently, the state government had ordered all the local corporations to formulate a ‘death audit committee’ to analyse whether deaths reported due to swine flu are actually swine flu deaths or not.

They were also asked to see if there were other primary causes for the death of a person apart from swine flu. The committee was also asked to examine the factors like delay in starting the treatment for swine flu etc.

Accordingly, the 14 deaths which were reported as swine related deaths in Pune last month were critically discussed at the Pune Municipal Corporation’s ‘death audit committee’ report last week. Out of these deaths 9 were not primarily due to swine flu.

“One death teaches how to handle a hundred such deaths in the future and this is the purpose of the committee. We had a detailed discussion with the doctors who had treated these swine flu patients. This exercise will help us in deriving an actual incidence of swine flu deaths and to lessen the fear mongering if any,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, Maharashtra.

He added, “In one of the deaths that were reported last month, the patient was already suffering from kidney problems, and swine flu was an accidental finding in that. The other patient was suffering from TB and was later diagnosed with swine flu, but a detailed analysis revealed that though it was reported as a swine flu death, the main cause of death was TB,”

Analysis revealed that one person among the 14 swine flu deaths had cancer and was already serious at the time of being diagnosed with swine flu before death.

As the patient in this case was diagnosed with swine flu, the cause of the death was stated as swine flu. But the analysis further revealed that it was cancer which was the primary cause.

“This exercise will help us in knowing how to report the swine flu cases and how to tackle them effectively,” said Dr Anjali Sabane, health officer at PMC.

Maharashtra is one of the worst affected states in India when it comes to swine flu. Recently, the national level team had visited swine flu affected districts in the country to examine the situation here and device the strategy accordingly.