Long battle for H1N1 patient; survives after 38 days

Long battle for H1N1 patient; survives after 38 days

Anitha along with the team of doctors of Narayana Multispeciality Hospital.

A 35-year-old woman survived after being treated for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome using ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation), an artificial lung support, at Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Mysuru.

ECMO is an extended life support system for patients with heart and lung failure or if the patient’s body does not respond to a regular standard treatment in the ICU. The ECMO machine provides support to lungs and heart for a few weeks, allowing the organs to recover.

A team of doctors, led by Dr M N Ravi, senior heart surgeon with the inputs from Dr Riyan Shetty treated the patient Anitha.

Speaking on the case, Dr Ravi said, the patient’s condition was very critical as she suffered H1N1 and the only possible treatment solution was ECMO. The treatment was challenging, however, subsequent management and timely coordination between the hospitals made it possible.

She was in sepsis at the time of initiation of ECMO. As she was on ECMO for 38 days, she went through many complications.

Anitha was on continuous monitoring for her vital organ functions, which included regular assessment of neurological status, kidney function other than lungs and heart function.

After 38 days on ECMO, the patient could breathe on her own, the lung infection was under control and the respiratory failure also resolved and she was weaned off ECMO. She was continued on ventilator for next two days before weaning completely off all support. She was shifted to the ward two days later and sent home after 53 days of hospitalisation.

Sharing her experience, Anitha thanked the team. “My family was in extreme stress and was on the verge of losing their hope when my body stopped responding to the initial treatment. Now, I can perform all my daily tasks independently and it has made me even more confident and optimistic towards life,” she said.