In an outstanding case, city hospital cured a 14-year-old boy from Haldwani whose 22 liters of blood was sucked by hookworms in his small intestine since the last two years. The boy was cured through a deworming therapy. The diagnosis was possible only after doctors recommended the rarely-used vitamin capsule-size endoscopy.
Boy was referred to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SRGH) in August last year with complaints of passage of blood in his stool. Doctors for a very long time suspected that the patient was suffering from anemia.
Chairperson of Gastroenterology Department at SRGH, Anil Arora said, “The child was suffering from iron deficiency anemia for the last two years. He was being managed with repeated blood transfusions and received 50 units (22 liters) of blood transfusions in the last two years”.
Doctors said they couldn’t diagnose patient’s disease despite repeated tests including esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), colonoscopy, and radiographic studies of the intestine. Finally they diagnosed true problem only after vitamin capsule-size endoscopy was performed. Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny wireless camera to capture pictures of the digestive tract. A capsule endoscopy camera is set inside a vitamin-sized capsule that the patient has to swallow.
Deeper examination showed hookworms in the small intestine which had silently sucked at least 22 liters of blood over the last two years. Reports say, there was gastrointestinal bleeding and patient’s hemoglobin was low at 5.86. Stating the findings ‘shocking’, Arora said-
“We could see multiple hookworms buried in the small intestine and were seen actively sucking blood with dancing movements.”
“Sucked blood could be seen in the cavity of hookworms, giving a red color to them. White colored hookworms who had not yet sucked blood were seen lying quietly in the small bowel.”
Hookworm infestation is generally found in Asian population. Sign of hookworms can be prevented by avoiding barefoot walking and maintenance of food hygiene. This rare medical case has been published in the latest edition of Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy.