A Chennai man spent nearly four months on life support devices and recovered without a lung transplant after contracting Covid-19, the hospital that treated him said. The 56-year-old man was released from Rela Hospital, a multi-specialty quaternary care hospital in Chrompet on Thursday. The hospital said he spent about 109 days on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a procedure that oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, and the support of a ventilator.
“It has become a living miracle, as no one in the country has ever recovered without a lung transplant after spending more than 9 weeks with the support of ECMO. In addition, the treatment and care at the hospital was such that Mr Mudijja did not need a lung transplant even after 9 weeks of ECMO support, ”said Hospital Rela.
Mudijja tested positive for Covid-19 in April and a CT scan before his admission to Rela hospital indicated moderate Covid-19 pneumonia. His oxygen saturation rate was 92% when he was transferred to the hospital, and as his condition deteriorated, he required 10 liters of oxygen per minute.
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Dr C Arumugam, a heart and lung transplant surgeon at the hospital, decided to put him on ECMO assistance and the hospital continued medicare despite little progress in the first four to five weeks. “ECMO has traditionally been used as an intermittent device until lung transplantation. However, now this team has really made it a life-saving procedure. It was an incredible result for the patient and his family, ”said Dr Mohamed Rela, president of the hospital.
Rela said when speaking to reporters that this gave critical patients a better chance of surviving and returning to normal life.
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Mudijja started to improve after being put on ECMO for almost 50 days and his lungs started to work better. Dr C Arumugam said they decided to continue with the treatment plan but without a transplant. “On day 54 of its ECMO support, the scanner showed few areas of resolution and we gradually reduced Ecmo support. And after 62 days from the onset of Ecmo, the patient withdrew from Ecmo completely, ”said Dr Arumugam. “We have witnessed a miracle before our eyes. We kept him on minimal respiratory assistance with tracheostomy for another two weeks and weaned him from the ventilator on July 29, 2021, ”he added.
“Mr Mudijja is the only patient in the country to recover without a lung transplant after being connected to an artificial lung ECMO for more than 60 days,” said Dr Arumugam.
(With contributions from the agency)