Know how dengue shock syndrome needs treatment

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 13, 2011
Quick Bites

  • Dengue shock occurs after 2 to 6 days of fever with sudden collapse.
  • Sedative therapy helps to restraint the agitation of the patient.
  • Blood transfusion is done as the blood cell levels drop.
  • Oxygen therapy is essential for patients with dengue shock syndrome.

A person with dengue shock sndrome (DSS) should be immediately hospitalised and must be regularly monitored by medical professionals i.e. at intervals of every 1-2 hours. Haematocrits (red blood cell) and platelets count must be monitored regularly for keeping track of the patient’s progress.


Dengue starts abruptly with high continuous fever and headache, plus respiratory and intestinal symptoms with sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The shock in particular occurs after 2 to 6 days with sudden collapse, cool clammy extremities, weak thready pulse, and blueness around the mouth.

Dengue shock syndrome treatment

Based on the patient’s condition, doctors usually opt from the following treatment alternatives:

  • Sedative Therapy: Sedative therapy is helpful in restraining the agitation of a patient with DSS. Usually a single dose of chloral hydrate is recommended which can be administered either orally or rectally.
  • Oxygen Therapy: Oxygen therapy is essential for patients with DSS. In some of the cases this therapy has reportedly increased the anxiety of the patient. Therefore, patients being treated with oxygen therapy must be taken care of by the nursing staff at all times
  • Blood Transfusion: When the blood cell level (haematocrit levels) of a patient with DSS falls, then it is advisable to go for blood transfusion. It is done as a precautionary step for patients of DSS who have clinical bleeding. Blood transfusion is needed when the present haematocrit level is less than 20% of the previous one.
  • Volume Replacement Therapy: It is meant for maintaining adequate parenteral fluids for circulation in the instance of vascular permeability. It must be done with extreme care for avoiding overload of fluid, especially in the absence of sophisticated intensive care facilities.

Experts suggest that preventive steps are the best way of dealing with dengue shock syndrome. As of now there is no specific treatment for dengue shock syndrome. It is only intensive clinical management that can control the mortality rate of DSS patients.


The best way to save yourself from dengue shock syndrome is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. When a person suspects symptoms of dengue he must immediately get anti-viral or anti-inflammatory drugs under medical supervision. Such medications are beneficial in combating symptoms of the disease. For instance, people complaining of headaches can be given tylenol, aspirin or pain killers. Try to keep body hydrated by increasing the intake of water. Appropriate rest and consumption of hygienic and healthy food are also helpful.

Image Source: Getty

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