KOCHI: Jose Biju, a 33-year-old Chittoor native, got a new lease of life after a rare procedure called Extracorporeal Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (ECPR) was performed on him at Aster Medcity. Jose was brought to the hospital following a cardiac arrest. Equal credit goes to ambulance driver Jithu Jose for his timely intervention in giving basic life support (BLS) by massaging Jose’s chest.
Jose Biju, who works as a driver with an online taxi service, had a persistent burning sensation in his chest since the morning of November 1, the day of the incident. However, he did not take it seriously and continued to work. When the pain became unbearable, he called his wife, who is a nurse at a private hospital in the city, and informed her of his condition.
She advised him to immediately reach the hospital where she works. On his way to the hospital, the pain became excruciating and he collapsed inside the vehicle. It was Jithu, an ambulance driver at Aster, who noticed the incident and gave him BLS.
According to doctors, ECPR is a method of cardiopulmonary resuscitation using Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a machine that acts as a heart-lung bypass. “Though he was rendered stable, he was suffering from repeated cardiac arrests. Performing ECPR was the only option,” said Dr Johnson K Varghese, lead consultant of the emergency department.
“Repeated cardiac arrests can affect the patient’s brain. But with ECMO, blood will be supplied to major organs of the body, hence pulling the patient out of danger. Since the method is quite expensive, only major private hospitals in the country have this machine,” said Dr Suresh G Nair, HoD of anaesthesiology.