Pune: With the penetrating reach of the internet, phenomenon of self medication are on the rise. In an extreme case of self medication, a 30-year-old women caught herself almost in an death que, while doctors at Poona Hospital came to diagnosis, right at edge, to save her from the fatality.
The woman had a history of bipolar disorder and mood swings, for which she has been on stabilizers for years. She was admitted in the ICU of Poona hospital around two months ago with constant dip in her hemoglobin and multiple health issues including edema, anaemia, high blood pressure and almost cardiac failure -all at the one time.. During the treatment she was made to undergo several clinical investigations as doctors were constantly facing failure in diagnosis after repeated tests and deterioration in her health.
After various checks, the doctors decided to do a final test where her blood was sent to heamatology experts for a thorough check. It was at that point when the doctors found shocking revelations that the blood was highly toxic, which then led to the conclusions that she was on self-medication since long which led her face such complications.
Case Study Showed Revelations:
Elaborating the case some more, Himani Kulkarni, a consultant psychiatrist, Poona Hospital and Research Centre, stated, “The patient, 30 years old, was diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder in 2008 and was on mood stabilisers. She had even showed improvement and was stable till late last year. Later, she started showing rapid mood fluctuations and the episodes multiplied and other complications and symptoms increased. It started with swelling on feet, drop in haemoglobin and irritability. However, the patient was brought to us for immediate admission two months ago with severe complications and was admitted to the ICU directly. For four days, we tried to stabilise her but there was no response. Many investigations and tests were then carried out but no conclusive result was seen and no diagnosis was made. Looking at the failure and the patient going into a cardiac failure, we chose to run a last test and her blood was sent to our haematology experts.”
She added, “To our horror, we found out that the patient had high levels of toxicity which caused her to slip into much morbidity at once. On probing further, we found out that to cure her disorder, she was taking self-medication and irrational use of over-the-counter drugs which she consumed for many months. This not only aggravated her symptoms but even led to resistance and recurrence of her disorder. After knowing the diagnosis, an immediate intervention was initiated and coordination between multiple specialty experts saved the patient’s life. We would have lost the patient if her condition wasn’t diagnosed properly.”
Appreciations and Uniqueness:
The case has also been presented on table over the European Psychiatric Association’s conference in Berlin and even won a first prize. Many psychiatry experts have called it a rare case of self-medication leading to multiple complications. This case is a first of its kind as per report by TOI.
Confirming to its uniqueness, president, Indian Psychiatry Society, Vidyadhar Watve, said, “We have never heard of such case in our specialty. Patients suffering from deep complications slip into fatality but is saved by proper diagnosis is not yet heard or recorded anywhere. Awareness about patients taking self-medication in psychiatry is never heard but to avoid such incidents. A patient should have drug adherence and avoid multiple use of drugs or non-allopathic medicines as it can turn fatal and lead to aggravation of symptoms.”