Mysuru: A rare and a life-saving procedure was successfully performed at Apollo BGS Hospitals, Mysuru by the Pulmonology team led by Dr. Madhu K, Cardiology team led by Dr. Nagendra Prakash, Intensivists team led by Dr. Harish Nayak and Dr. Ramakrishna along with trained and experienced nurses. After a constant battle with death for nearly a month, the Apollo BGS Hospital team helped Savitha tide over the life threatening crisis and emerged victorious in the end.
The 36-year-old Savitha from Malavalli village came to the emergency ward of Apollo BGS Hospitals with severe cough, fever and breathing difficulties . Her symptoms were progressively increasing. She was managed in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with high flow oxygen, injectable antibiotics and special medications to bring down the symptoms. She was then put on a ventilator (special type of ventilation called prone ventilation).
Even after such high level of medical care, when she did not respond, a novel technology called Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) was performed on the patient. This is a sophisticated machine which acts like an artificial lung to provide fresh oxygen to blood and removal of carbon dioxide from blood.
“ECMO may be understood as dialysis for the lungs, as the machine acts like an artificial lung. ECMO provides rest to the lungs to recover from the illness. ECMO machine provides oxygenation outside the body, unlike in ventilator where the oxygenation is done within the body”, says Dr. Madhu, Consultant Pulmonologist, Apollo BGS Hospitals, Mysuru.
“ECMO ventilation attachment was achieved with the help of cardiology team. We inserted various tubes required to carry blood into and out of the ECMO machine, and perfusionists monitored the patient’s oxygenation round the clock”, says Dr. Nagendra Prakash, Consultant Cardio Thoracic Surgeon, Apollo BGS Hospitals, Mysuru.
“She started improving after about 15 days, with strict vigil and intervention by the team of doctors, intensivists, paramedics and nurses who gave special attention and care during this procedure and helped her sustain on ECMO during this time”, said Dr. Harish Nayak and Dr. Ramakrishna, Consultant Intensivists, Apollo BGS Hospitals, Mysuru.
Sharing her experience, Savitha said, “It's really a new lease of life for me. Doctors and other supporting staffs who saved my life are gods for me. I want to thank them for their dedicated service.” “Savitha has now fully recovered and is ready to lead a healthy life, thanks to the ECMO procedure”, says Venkatesh, Savitha’s husband.
“This is a first of its kind procedure in Mysuru which has been successfully performed with the in-house team of pulmonologists, cardiac surgeons, intensivists, respiratory therapists and the nurses without whom success of this procedure wouldn’t have been possible. With increasing trends of influenza every year and with the threat of swine flu causing complications such as in this case, Mysuru now has a full-fledged facility at Apollo BGS Hospitals to treat such cases using ECMO which was previously only possible in Metro cities including in Bengaluru and Chennai”, says N G Bharateesha Reddy, Vice President and Unit Head, Apollo BGS Hospitals, Mysuru.
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