New Diagnostics Learned - Post Em Up


Forum Lieutenant
Every once in a while I like to review old cases to see the advances in BLS/ALS Field Diagnotics.

I had the pleasure of assisting with an outbreak of Dengue Fever while OCONUS. Dengue Fever is a Mosquito-Born infectious disease related to the West Nile and Yellow Fever viruses.

There is no treatment for dengue fever, (other than supportive care), or dengue hemorrhagic fever, but quick recognition and management of symptoms and complications is effective at preventing deaths.

Supportive care such as fever reducers and pain killers can be taken to control the symptoms of muscle aches and pains, and fever.

  • The best options to treat these symptoms are acetaminophen or paracetamol.
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin should be avoided. These anti-inflammatory drugs act by thinning the blood, and in a disease with risk of hemorrhage, blood thinners may exacerbate the prognosis.

Dengue Fever

Patients I saw initially presented with a rapid onset of symptoms. Some of the Symptoms of Dengue Fever are ; Rash, Severe Malaise, Headache, Fever, Dehydration, Vomiting and Gastrointestinal Bleeds that can progress into Hemorrhagic Fever and sometimes Death. Some Patients do not present with all Symptoms of Dengue, nor do they suffer the same severity. There is no

They used to believe that there were 7 Stains of Dengue Fever. Once you have recovered from one strain you have a natural immunity from Strain #1 but are sustainable to the other Strains of the virus.

Most of the time your encounter Dengue Fever in the Southern, (Tropical Climate), parts of the U.S. and/or with recent Foreign Travelers, (onset from infectious exposure is approx. 3-14 Days)

Here's a Field Diagnostic Test that I wish I aware of a Decade ago while working the Dengue Fever outbreak;

Tourniquet Test

A Tourniquet Test was not prevalent with the Local Foreign Medical Practitioners in my area and they relied on Blood Tests, (which were very slow due to lack of local labs/equipment), to confirm diagnosis. A Tourniquet Test is also referred to a The Rumpel–Leede capillary fragility test.

I hope this gives you another tool in your Bag-o-Tricks.



The New Beach Medic
You're too late. @RedBlanketRunner taught me everything I know about Dengue Fever.


The fire extinguisher is not just for show