ECMO helps 39-yr-old techie beat severe Covid pneumonia

ECMO helps 39-yr-old techie beat severe Covid pneumonia

ECMO helps 39-yr-old techie beat severe Covid pneumonia  


BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital doctors bring the patient back from the brink of death

Bengaluru: A 39-year-old IT professional from Bangalore infected with severe Covid pneumonia, fought for his life for three weeks on ECMO support and successfully recovered at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital. Mahesh, a fitness enthusiast who has no history of illness, was admitted to the hospital on 22 November, with 103 -104 fever and hypoxia.

After a thorough CT scan, doctors realised that his health condition was critical and hence shifted him immediately to the ICU. As his health condition was deteriorating, the Covid team, CTVS (Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons) and ICU team, with the consent of the patient's family, decided to put him on ECMO support.

Mahesh has always been a fitness enthusiast and has no history of illness. Moreover, he received both doses of Covid vaccine. However, after experiencing shortness of breath and high fever for 7 days, he was compelled to approach a doctor at BGS GGH. Doctors performed a few rounds of tests, in which the CT scan score was 22 out of 25 points confirming severe lung infection. After discussing and taking suggestions from the other team of doctors, they decided to prepare a treatment plan.

The Head of Medical ICU and COVID ICU, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Dr Gourishankar Reddy Mane said, "When the patient was admitted, his condition was deteriorating rapidly. After looking at the test results, we were a bit skeptical in the beginning, but considering the patient's age and absence of comorbidities gave us a hope that he would respond well to our treatment. However, his health continued to deteriorate for the next seven days despite all medical management. That was when we had planned to put him on invasive ventilation and then ECMO."

With approval from the patient's family, the doctors put Mahesh on ventilator, on 26 November midnight, however the patient was not responding well to that treatment as well. Striving hard to bring down the infection and improve the vitals, doctors immediately put the patient on the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support otherwise known as life support) on 27 November. He was on the ECMO and ICU support for more than 15 days. The journey on ECMO was not easy, as expected. He had various issues like infections and bleeding. It required rigorous monitoring.

Dr Raghavendrra Chikatoor, Senior Consultant and Head of CTVS and Transplant Department, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said "ECMO is a machine used for patients who are severely ill, especially when their heart and lungs are not functioning properly. In patients like Mahesh, who are suffering from Refractory Respiratory Failure, severe ARDS, COVID Pneumonia, ECMO allows the blood to "bypass" the lungs, allowing them to rest and heal. Because of bleeding issues, we had to use a special anticoagulant Bilavuridin instead of usual Heparin for keeping blood thin in the ECMO circuit."

Dr Sandeepa H S, Pulmonologist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said "The patient was admitted in the state of very severe ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) which caused the delay in the recovery period. His condition became critical because he presented late to the hospital and tried to manage with self-medication. By the time he reached, 90 percent of his lungs were damaged.

Some of his other organ systems were partially affected but recovered quickly, with right medical intervention.

Mahesh responded well to the ECMO support and is recovering well. His CT score has come down to 18 from 22 which is the good sign of improvement. He was moved from the ICU to the General Ward and is currently under observation. Mahesh's case was successfully and meticulously handled by the ICU team headed by Dr Gourishankar Reddy Manne, pulmonologists headed by Dr Vishwanath Bellad and Dr Sandeepa H S, Senior Consultant of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and critical care Dr Shivaprakash S and CTVS (Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons) team comprising of Dr Raghavendrra Chikatoor and Dr Madhusudana N.

Mahesh will recover completely in 3 months with right medical support and physiotherapy.

Sandeep Kumar, CEO, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said "Monitor your health daily! Be alert for symptoms like a fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you notice any of them, then it's important to see a doctor immediately or else COVID-19 infection can cause serious damage before reaching the hospital. What helped Mahesh was getting treated in a tertiary care center where all his needs were met under one roof."

"It is essential to monitor your symptoms such as keeping track over your body temperature, oxygen saturation levels of your body and update your family doctor before it's too late."

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