Fearing COVID-19, 55-year-old housewife self medicates, worsens gallbladder infection

A 55-year-old housewife was successfully treated by a complicated surgery of the gallbladder, which had ruptured into her abdomen. Doctors said the patient had self-medicated, due to which her condition worsened and they had to perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy with peritoneal lavage and drainage. Currently, the patient is stable and was discharged after her health parameters were normal.

Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker (Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon) from Namaha Hospital, Kandivali, said the patient had severe pain in her abdomen for many weeks. She was facing difficulty after having her meals. Due to the lockdown, she self-medicated, which worsened her condition further.

“The patient consulted her family physician online who advised her to do a sonography of the abdomen. Sonography revealed stones in the gallbladder along with an infection of the gallbladder wall (cholecystitis). She was treated with antibiotics for a week and felt better temporarily. However, her symptoms reappeared after a few days,” she said.

Dr Govil further said that the patient was brought to the hospital with severe pain in the abdomen, high fever, vomiting and low blood pressure. The CT scan revealed that because of prolonged infection, the gall bladder had ruptured into her abdomen, leading to the formation of a very large pus collection on the right side of her abdomen. The infection had also spread into her blood (septicaemia), which had led to shock.

“The surgery was difficult and time-consuming. The recovery was stormy with many ups and downs. It took her more than a week after the surgery to recover and get discharged from the hospital. People are scared to come to the hospital. They bear the pain and other symptoms till it becomes unbearable. They self-medicate dangerously. This leads to unnecessary delays and unwarranted complications,” she added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread immense fear in the minds of people. As a result of this, the treatment of all other ailments has taken a backseat.

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Free Press Journal