Advanced lung support system saves Covid patient with brain haemorrhage

Due to the serious conditions, he was shifted to a hospital there. As his condition worsened, he was intubated and put on ventilator support.

Published: 02nd September 2021 06:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2021 06:59 AM   |  A+A-

Ram Naresh with Dr Nebhu, Dr Sujith and Dr Sandya of VPS Lakeshore Hospital

By Express News Service

KOCHI: After 82 days in hospital, Ram Naresh, 34, was on Wednesday  discharged after regaining his health. Seriously ill with Covid, intracranial bleeding and lung failure (Covid ARDS), Ram was brought to VPS Lakeshore hospital, Kochi in a serious condition. It was the VV ECMO, an advanced mechanical circulatory support system, that saved his life. 

Naresh, an IT professional from Andhra Pradesh, was airlifted to Kochi from Thiruvananthapuram on  June  13 this year, with several complications, including pneumothorax (collapsed lung), pneumopericardium (air around the heart), pneumomediastinum (air in the chest), and brain hemorrhage. 
The patient was under treatment for Covid at a first-line treatment centre (FLTC) in Thiruvananthapuram, where he developed intense breathlessness and pneumonia.

Due to the serious conditions, he was shifted to a hospital there. As his condition worsened, he was intubated and put on ventilator support. He had developed severe Covid ARDS and could not maintain the blood oxygen level. As his condition deteriorated, the only option before the medical team attending on him was to initiate him on ECMO. Since the facility to initiate the support was unavailable there, a mobile ECMO support was transferred there and he was airlifted to VPS Lakeshore. According to the medical team at Lakeshore hospital, prior to the initiation, the patient had shown symptoms of brain haemorrhage, which heightened the risk.

“It is a highly uncertain measure to initiate ECMO on a patient who has brain  haemorrhage. Despite the risks involved, we went ahead and put him on Heparin-free VV ECMO with the consent of his relatives. Though it took a while for him to respond to treatment, the patient slowly regained his life and has returned home,” said Sujith D S, Cardiac Surgeon, VPS Lakeshore Hospital. “VV ECMO or Veno-Venous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation is a support system, which aids lung function till the organ regains its capability to work properly,”  Sujith added. After 56 days, the patient was weaned off of VV ECMO support and kept on the ventilator for another 15 days. On Wednesday, he got discharged.


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