Fiji Time: 3:10 PM on Wednesday 22 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Too young to die

Torika Tokalau
Friday, June 06, 2014

A FOUR-YEAR old was the youngest patient to die from rheumatic heart disease.

This was confirmed by CWM Hospital's head of pediatrics and consultant Dr Joseph Kado.

Dr Kado said in their review of patients, cross referenced with the Ministry of Health death certificate system and patient information system they found that an excess of between 60-80 patients died every year from 2008 to 2012.

"Of those who died, the medium age is in the 40s but the average age is in the 30s so they die young," Dr Kado said.

"If they wait until they actually have shortness of breath to present, by the time they present to us and within a month of presentation 10 per cent of those patients will die.

"Every year about one in 20 people living with RHD will die, so 5 per cent will die each year."

He said it was harder to detect RHD in young children because of communication barriers.

"They can't tell their parents they have sore throat and when they actually do become ill it's because they have developed the complication of rheumatic fever.

"And the problem is every time they get another episode of rheumatic fever, which is the body mistaking its own heart valves, the joints, brains, skin tissues as being foreign, then they have an over response so it actually damages the heart valves more," said Dr Kado.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Budget overspent
  2. $20m in excess
  3. Finance scrutiny
  4. $11.9m in arrears
  5. Military overspends
  6. No spending ledger maintained
  7. Financial boost for hospital's oncology unit
  8. Poor control of permit database
  9. Anomalies in books
  10. Cyclone season looms

Top Stories this Week

  1. False rumours warning Friday (17 Oct)
  2. Death shocks family Monday (20 Oct)
  3. Biman gets nod Saturday (18 Oct)
  4. Law and order Thursday (16 Oct)
  5. Detailed report Friday (17 Oct)
  6. Public access Tuesday (21 Oct)
  7. Inside Fiji sevens Tuesday (21 Oct)
  8. Praises for Fiji sevens team after win in Australia Thursday (16 Oct)
  9. 8-room home gutted Friday (17 Oct)
  10. Forgery suspect still in remand Tuesday (21 Oct)