Dental problem can be serious

Bengaluru woman ignored dental problems suffers multi-organ dysfunction and cardiac arrests
news Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 10:03

What was thought to be a simple toothache, led a Bengaluru woman to suffer from multi-organ dysfunction including three minor cardiac arrests, reported The Times of India.

Twenty-six-year-old Mala, was kept on ventilator for two months until she recovered in December. While the incident happened about six months back it has become an important lesson for people who ignore dental problems.

The newspaper reported that Mala went the painkiller way thinking the toothache and swelling in her jaw would subside. However, that aggravated her pain and made its way to her throat blocking the passage. This led to more problems as Mala was unable to eat, drink and speak.

Mala was initially admitted in a local hospital and later shifted to Fortis Hospital.

The docors found that she was suffering from multiple organ dysfunction syndrome as an infection that had spread to her vital organs.

“Mala was running high fever, had low BP, and was looking toxic, when she was brought to the emergency unit of Fortis,“ said Dr Sudha Menon, consultant, internal medicine, Fortis.

 “We first suspected dengue or H1N1 as her condition was symptomatic but the results came negative. She suffered from pneumonia and was kept on ventilator. It was nothing but a roller-coaster ride. The credit must go to the staff and doctors in the ICU who handled her with care, taking on every challenge and risk she posed. She would improve a bit and worsen again. There was a shower of bacteria on her lungs and fluids in the lungs started accumulating around her heart. Besides, there was a clot in a vein that connects the heart, head and the neck region. Oral hygiene was compromised, leading to the spreading of anaerobic bacteria,” said Dr Menon.

Doctors found that Mala was suffering from Lemierre's syndrome, a rare condition caused by bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorum, a common inhabitant of the mouth, further leading to sepsis which affected multiple organs. Mala shed 20 kilos during the treatment.

“I had a lot of cavities and didn't bother to take care of them. It hit me only when I lost speech, couldn't lie down and wasn't even able to swallow water. It's a rebirth for me,” said Mala.

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