Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever in Trinidad and Tobago: A Case for a Conservative Approach to Platelet Transfusion

Anu Sharma Department of Clinical Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago; Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

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Kenneth Charles Department of Clinical Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago; Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

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Dave Chadee Department of Clinical Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago; Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

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Surujpaul Teelucksingh Department of Clinical Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago; Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

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Dengue fever is endemic to Trinidad and Tobago. A retrospective analysis of all adult admissions at a tertiary hospital in Trinidad treated for dengue during January 1–December 31, 2008 was performed. A total of 186 patients were treated during this period: 98.9% (184) of the patients were thrombocytopenic; 45.2% were severely thrombocytopenic; 13 patients showed development of minor hemorrhage and only one case of major hemorrhage; platelet transfusion was given for 7% (13) of the cases; and 6 cases for which platelet transfusion was given did not show evidence of plasma leakage (12 of these cases did not show evidence of hemorrhage). There was a strong association between the lowest platelet value and hemoconcentration (χ2 = 13.16, P < 0.025). No association was found between giving a platelet transfusion and hemoconcentration or hemorrhage. Thrombocytopenia seen in dengue resolves spontaneously and independent of any transfusion used.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Anu Sharma, 5 Sundaree Drive, Longdenville Old Road, Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago. E-mail: anu.sharma@gmail.com

Authors’ addresses: Anu Sharma, Longdenville Old Road, Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, E-mail: anu.sharma@gmail.com. Kenneth Charles and Surujpaul Teelucksingh, Department of Clinical Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Dave Chadee, Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

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