Introduction: The 2015 dengue outbreak in southern Taiwan caused substantial mortality. We analyzed the causes of death among these patients. Materials and methods: This retrospective study was conducted at a medical center in Tainan from August 2015 to December 2015. Dengue was diagnosed based on the detection of serum dengue NS1 antigen, IgM, or viral RNA in the blood. Causes of death were retrieved from chart reviews by three clinicians. Results: There were 4488 cases of dengue in the study hospital, with an in-hospital fatality rate of 1.3% (60 cases). The mean age of the 60 fatal cases was 73 years, among whom 90% were aged ≥65 years. Twenty-eight (46.7%) patients died of severe dengue, and 29 (48.3%) deaths were possibly related to dengue. Of the latter, 24 (40%) died of secondary infections. Thirteen cardiac arrest events, including out-of-hospital (5 events) and in-hospital (8) cardiac arrests in the emergency department, occurred during the dengue epidemic. Seven (53.8%) patients did not receive medical aid before the event. Of the 40 deaths that occurred within one week after hospitalization, 60% died of severe dengue. In contrast, 50% of 20 deaths that occurred one week after hospitalization were related to hospital-acquired infections, mainly pneumonia. Conclusion: Of 60 fatal cases, with a predominance of elderly patients, deaths were related to severe dengue within the first week after admission and secondary infections thereafter. The absence of medical care before cardiac arrest events highlights the importance of health education for warning signs of dengue.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases