Hemorrhagic Pneumonia Found In Iowa:
Doctors Not Disclosing Number of Deaths
Doctors in Iowa are observing hemorrhagic lungs in flu patients,
but although the state has officially recorded 21 H1N1 deaths,
actual cases may be higher as patient rights, laws prohibit the
disclosure of specific numbers.
The county's medical examiner said he has performed autopsies
on some residents who were never diagnosed with H1N1, but actually
"In the autopsy, what we're seeing is very heavy, wet hemorrhagic
lungs, lungs with a lot of blood in them," said Dr. Gregory
We're Seeing Very Heavy, Wet Hemorrhagic Bloody Lungs
He said the official count of seven H1N1 deaths is inaccurate,
but patient rights laws prohibit him from giving specific numbers.
He said there are two reasons for the discrepancy. First, not
all sick patients get tests and second, the virus is difficult
to detect. Some patients may be too sick to receive the most accurate
"They're not always done and it can be hazardous to the
patient if they're in a respiratory critical situation,"
He also said that some tests reveal a false negative.
"Because of our limitations on testing, sometimes the tests
aren't positive," he said. "They do appear to fit clinically
the course of a H1N1 viral-type pneumonia."
He said the cases he's seen in Polk County were all middle-aged
adults with a few underlying health conditions.
"These may be the patients that are obese," Schmunk
said. "Obesity restricts your ability to breathe and clear
the virus from your upper respiratory."
He also said that some of the patients had diabetes.
He said that in the meantime, remember to wash your hands, sneeze
into your sleeve and stay home if you're sick. The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said one person who goes to work
sick with the virus will infect 10 percent of his or her co-workers.