Hyderabad: More than 1,000 black fungus patients are currently being treated in public and private hospitals, while the health department has advised doctors to use posaconazole injections to treat them.
In a surge in the number of patients, Gandhi Hospital has 250, Government ENT Hospital 300 and Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital have six people on treatment. A 200-bed facility is to be created at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital to move patients who have undergone surgery to ENT Hospital, for subsequent medical recovery at Eye Hospital.
Hyderabad’s private hospitals accommodate more than 500 patients and the situation is monitored by the government-appointed nodal center. The main treatment challenge remains the scarcity of liposomal amphotericin B, which is the first line of medicine for treatment.
Health director Dr Srinivas Rao met with ENT doctors from private hospitals on Friday. He told them that liposomal amphotericin B injections were rare and that they should instead give posaconazole injections to patients with black fungi. Posaconazole is commercially available.
Amphotericin is available but it is highly toxic and doctors are not inclined to use it on patients.
An ENT specialist says: “There is a trinity at work in black fungus cases – uncontrolled diabetes, Covid19, and excessive and inappropriate steroid use. This trio is wreaking havoc in the body.
If we use substandard drugs, the functioning of the liver and kidneys may be affected. This should be monitored for the next three to six months in these patients. “They need to control their blood sugar levels and the function of these two organs needs to be tested to avoid complications.”
Due to the toxicity of drugs, many doctors are faced with a dilemma. They have to heal the patients and they have to save the lives of the patients as well.
Another ENT doctor said: “We may opt for treatment with posaconazole in patients who have black fungal infection in the nose, cheeks and facial area. Those who have an invasion in the eyes will need amphotericin. . We have to use the drugs wisely. “
The government supply is five vials per patient per day. The rules don’t change, although at least 20 patients report black fungus complaints to different hospitals every day. A relief is that the paperwork has been simplified and private hospitals will only have to list the patient’s name and status.
Another ENT doctor said: “We will be seeing patients until the end of June, because those who are suffering from Covid19 and are recovering will come to hospitals with complaints of black fungi. The good thing is that there is awareness and it brings patients to hospitals early. will help patients. Up to the nose area, it can be managed well. “
Experts say those who have taken steroids should check their sugar levels and work on building cellular immunity to protect themselves from black fungi.