6 Feb 2018

Centrifuge due in Tonga soon to fight dengue

3:57 pm on 6 February 2018

A pathologist at Tonga's Vaiola Hospital says they are expecting the delivery of a vital piece of medical equipment needed to treat serious dengue cases in the next few days.

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Photo: eeandrey/123RF

Dr Eka Buadromo said the Ministry of Health has procured the new centrifuge from New Zealand after its own 40-year-old device broke down just as dengue fever started to escalate in Tonga at the end of last year.

She said the device was used to concentrate platelets so they can be transfused into patients with uncontrolled bleeding as a result of dengue fever.

Dr Buadromo said she was hoping the centrifuge will be flown from Auckland to Tonga in the next two or three days so that more effective treatment will be available.

"We should be able to make platelet concentrates and give to patients who are likely to bleed. So that's our hope here in Tonga. Most of our patients should be able to recover without having platelet transfusion, however the serious cases that will need that and those are the ones we are worried about."

The Ministry of Health has confirmed 52 cases of dengue fever over recent weeks and is encouraging people to clear mosquito breeding sites and use repellent, nets and clothing to avoid being bitten by the insects which can spread dengue.

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