BHUBANESWAR: The first patient put on Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar has successfully recovered. The 22-month-old girl from Dhenkanal who was suffering from Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis (PAP), a rare disease in the lungs, was discharged from the hospital on Saturday.
The girl, claimed to be the youngest child in the country to have undergone the procedure, had tested positive for Covid-19 along with other family members in June and recovered in the same month.
She, however, developed fever with breathing difficulty in July for which she was treated at a couple of hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. As the child's condition did not improve, she was finally admitted to Paediatrics Department of AIIMS.
The patient was shifted to the paediatric ICU because of the difficulty in breathing with a high oxygen requirement. After investigations, she was suspected to be suffering from PAP, in which protein gets accumulated in both the lungs.
Since the only available treatment option for the disease is cleaning of both the lungs with saline, which is technically challenging in such a sick child, the AIIMS authorities formed an expert team of doctors to treat the patient.
The team decided to do the whole lung lavage (lung washing) by putting the child on ECMO support. “We conducted a bronchoscopy on the girl on August 30 and cleaned the protein deposited on her lungs. As the procedure was complicated, it took the whole day to finish,” said a treating doctor.
After the procedure, the girl's condition improved dramatically. “We decided to carry out the same procedure once again on September 13 and this made her condition further better. She has been discharged with minimal oxygen requirement. She has recovered and is fine now,” the doctor said.
The team included Professor of Paediatric Surgery department Dr Manoj Kumar Mohanty, paeditricians Dr Krishna Mohan Gulla, Dr Rashmi Ranjan Das, Dr Amit Kumar Satapathy, anaesthesiologists Dr Satyajit Mishra, Dr Bikram Kishore Behera and cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr Sidharth Kumar Sathia and Dr Satyapriya Mohanty.
The expert team was helped by other faculty, residents and nursing officers and support staff from Paediatrics and Anaesthesia departments. AIIMS is the first institute in the State to have the paediatric flexible bronchoscopy facility, which was inaugurated in July.
AIIMS Director Prof Gitanjali Batmanabane said the patient was provided free ECMO treatment and the team did a tremendous job while carrying out the arduous procedure to save the life of the young girl.