The story appears on

Page A5

May 19, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

Student 'could die at any time' after catching a cold

A 22-YEAR-OLD university student from Anhui Province was in critical condition at Ruijin Hospital yesterday after he was given improper medication for a cold that led to an allergic reaction and further unsuitable treatment.

Zhu Nan, a sophomore at Anhui Xinhua University in Hefei City, lied on his hospital bed silently yesterday. Covered in a white sheet, he could hardly open his eyes. His face was swollen due to an infection.

He and his family are hoping doctors can save his life and that others will donate money to help cover the expense. The family has already spent 160,000 yuan (US$24,600) on medical treatment, exhausting their life savings.

Further treatment may cost 500,000 yuan, according to doctors.

"He is so young," said Zhu Guoxi, the student's 50-year-old father.

"It will kill me if we have to give up treatment after using up our last penny."

Zhu had a cold on February 25 and went to the university's clinic, where doctors prescribed him antibiotics through an intravenous drip. Red dots appeared on his skin the next day and overall his skin turned a red-purple color. Pieces of skin started peeling off days later.

Hospitals in Anhui failed to treat his condition and the family sent him to Shanghai in early March.

Zhu was transferred between hospitals in Shanghai before he was recently admitted to Ruijin Hospital, where doctors said his situation is complicated and he "could die at any time."

"His current situation is related to improper use of antibiotics while having viral cold, delay of treatment and the use of large doses of hormones in other hospitals," said Dr Zheng Jie, director of Ruijin's dermatology department. "The hormone treatment, a common therapy for skin diseases, destroyed the patient's immunity."

Zhu now has sepsis, a serious illness in which the bloodstream is overwhelmed by bacteria, kidney failure and a low platelet count.

"We also detected staphylococcus aureus (a bacterium) and two very serious yeast infections in his blood," Zheng said. "These bacteria are all multi-drug resistant, which makes treatment difficult."

"I can't blame one single doctor in this case. A series of improper practices resulted in Zhu's current condition. It is a lesson that the blind use of antibiotics is not good for people with a common cold," Zheng said.

"Zhu Nan is a strong boy and he never complained about the pain and the tragedy," said the father, who quit his job as a security guard to take care of his son.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend