A 39-year-old patient with Covid-19 was saved with ECMO support

A 39-year-old patient with Covid-19 was saved with ECMO support

Patient with acute Covid-19 infection treated at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital

  • By IPP Bureau | December 22, 2021

A 39-year-old IT professional from Bangalore presented with severe Covid-19 pneumonia, fought for his life for three weeks on ECMO support and successfully recovered at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital. Mahesh, a fitness enthusiast who has no history of illness, presented to the hospital on 22nd, November 2021, with 103 -104 fever and hypoxia, severe enough for placement into an induced situation. After a thorough CT scan, doctors learned that his health condition was critical, hence was moved directly to the ICU. As his health condition was deteriorating, the Covid team, CTVS (Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons) and ICU team, with the consent of the patient’s family, decided to put the patient on ECMO support which brought him back to life.

Mahesh, an IT professional who resides in Bangalore was admitted to BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital in the state of hypoxia, cough and high fever. He has always been a fitness enthusiast and has no history of illness. Following the government protocol, the patient was fully vaccinated.  However, after experiencing shortness of breath and high fever for seven days, the patient was compelled to approach a doctor from BGS GGH. Doctors performed a few rounds of tests, in which the CT scan score was 22 out of 25 points confirming severe lung infection. After discussing and taking suggestions from the other team of doctors, they decided to prepare a treatment plan for the patient.

Dr Gourishankar Reddy Mane, Head of Medical ICU and COVID ICU, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said When the patient was admitted to the hospital, his condition was deteriorating rapidly. After looking at the test results, we were a bit skeptical in the beginning, but considering the patient’s age and no comorbidities gave us a hope that the patient will respond well to our treatment. However, his health continued to deteriorate for the next seven days despite all medical management. That is when we planned to put him on invasive ventilation and then ECMO.”

With an approval from the patient’s family members, the doctors put Mahesh on ventilator, on 26th November midnight, however the patient was not responding well to that treatment as well. Striving hard to bring down the infection and improve the vitals, doctors immediately put the patient on the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support otherwise known as "life support”) on 27th November at 3 am. He was on the ECMO and ICU support for more than 15 days. The journey on ECMO was not easy, as expected. He had various issues like infections and bleeding episodes. It required rigorous monitoring.

Dr Raghavendrra Chikatoor, Senior Consultant and Head of CTVS & Transplant Department, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said "ECMO is a machine used for patients who are severely ill, especially when their heart and lungs are not functioning appropriately.

In patients like Mahesh, who are suffering from Refractory Respiratory Failure, severe ARDS, Covid Pneumonia, ECMO allows the blood to "bypass" the lungs, allowing them to rest and heal. Because of bleeding issues, we   had to use a special anticoagulant bilavuridin instead of usual heparin for keeping blood thin in the ECMO circuit."

Mahesh responded well to the ECMO support and is recovering well. His CT score has come down to 18 from 22 which is the good sign of improvement. He was moved from the ICU to the General Ward and is currently under observation.He will recover completely in 3 months with right medical support and physiotherapy.

Mahesh’s case was successfully and meticulously handled by the ICU team headed by Dr Gourishankar Reddy Manne, pulmonologists headed by Dr Vishwanath Bellad and Dr Sandeepa H S, Senior consultant of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and critical care Dr Shivaprakash S and CTVS (Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons) team comprising of Dr RaghavendrraChikatoor and Dr Madhusudana N.



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