Diphtheria: Experience in the Internal Medicine Service of the Hospital Universitario De Los Andes

Dulcey Luis Caltagirone Raimondo Sampayo Jose Pineda Jonathan Cazorla Camilo Moreno Hector Castro John

Internal Medicine Service of the Hospital Universitario de los Andes Merida

Article Info
Author Info
Figures & Data


Abstract: Diphtheria is a bacterial infectious disease produced by Corynebacterium diphtheriae; it is highly contagious, preventable by vaccines, with important acute complications and high mortality.

Objective: To describe the clinical-epidemiological characteristics and medical management of patients diagnosed with Diphtheria admitted to the Internal Medicine Service of the Autonomous Institute Hospital Universitario de los Andes (AIHULA) in 2017 and 2018.

Methodology: Case study, analytical, retrospective, review of medical records.

RESULTS: 27 patients were admitted, of which 22 medical records were found and 2. Of the 20 patients, 13 (65%) were admitted in 2017 and 7 (35%) until May 2018. Male gender predominated 11 (55 %). Most were from Locality 9 (45%), followed by adjacent areas 8 (40%). The average age was 26 years. Most 8 (40%) did not have reports of epidemiological data in the medical record, 7 (35%) denied recent trips, 3 (15%) were vaccinated. Most of the patients consulted for fever, sore throat and odynophagia 13 (65%), followed by fever and sore throat 6 (30%), 100% had a grayish-white membrane as the primary symptom, followed by neck edema 10 (50%) . The location of the membranes was more frequent in the palatine tonsils 15 (75%), with 9 cases (45%) of extensive forms to the uvula, soft palate and oropharyngeal walls. Complications on admission were respiratory 9 (45%) and neurological 1 (5%). Treatment was crystalline penicillin in 12 cases (60%) and diphtheria antitoxin (DTA) in 100%, the majority administered in the first 24 hours 9 (45%). One patient had polyneuropathy and 1 died of respiratory failure.

Conclusions: The AIHULA is a reference center and it is pertinent to determine the clinical-epidemiological characteristics and the medical management of hospitalized patients diagnosed with diphtheria, in the context of the current epidemic.

Under Process (Review Completed)

Editorial Information
Corresponding author

Dulcey Luis

Internal Medicine Service of the Hospital Universitario de los Andes Merid. luismedintcol@gmail.com

No Figures