Beware! 14-Yr-Old Loses 22 Litres of Blood to Hookworms in 2 Years
The doctors “could see multiple hookworms buried in the boy’s small intestine and were seen actively sucking blood.”
Hookworms sucked 22 litres of blood from the small intestine of a 14-year-old boy in the last 2 years before being spotted. They’ve finally been pushed out via a deworming therapy at a city hospital in Delhi.
The boy was brought to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SRGH) in August last year with complaints of passage of blood in his stool.
The child was suffering from iron deficiency anaemia for the last two years. He was being managed with repeated blood transfusions and received 50 units (22 litres) of blood transfusions in the last two years.Anil Arora, Chairperson of Gasreroenterology Department, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
The boy's haemoglobin fell to just 5.86. Doctors said the patient's diagnosis could not be established despite various repeated tests. As the problem persisted and there was gastrointestinal bleeding, the doctor decided to go for the rarely-used capsule endoscopy.
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of the digestive tract. A capsule endoscopy camera sits inside a vitamin-size capsule that the patient has to swallow.
Calling the findings "shocking", Dr Arora said:
We could see multiple hookworms buried in small intestine and were seen actively sucking blood with dancing movements.
"Sucked blood could be seen in the cavity of hookworms, giving red colour to them. White coloured hookworms who had not yet sucked blood were seen lying quiet in the small bowel."
"After treatment the child recovered and his haemoglobin increased to 11 gm/dl," said Dr Arora, describing the health condition of the patient.
The rare medical case has been published in the latest edition of Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy.
Conventionally, hookworm infestation is found commonly in Asian population. Manifestation of hookworms can be prevented by avoiding barefoot walking and maintenance of food hygiene.Anil Arora, Chairperson of Gasreroenterology Department, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
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