Docs at non-public hospitals in West Bengal’s Kolkata are making use of a distinct approach to assist sure sufferers with extreme COVID-19 signs like pneumonia when even ventilators fail to assist with their restoration.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ECMO, used historically for coronary heart surgical procedures in kids, is now serving to hospitals in Kolkata after medical doctors in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad registered some success.
Consultants have urged authorities hospitals in Bengal to undertake the identical approach.
Abhimanyu Lal, 54, was contaminated with coronavirus in Might and spent 10 days on the ECMO at Medica Superspeciality Hospital in south Kolkata. His lungs have been severely compromised and the ECMO acted as a synthetic lung whereas his personal healed. For Mr Lal’s household, his restoration was a miracle.
Mr Lal’s 28-year-old son Rahul had by no means heard of the ECMO earlier than. “The machine was subsequent to god. God have been the medical doctors and the entire group that saved my father.”
The survivor, who owns a dairy enterprise, mentioned: “This (COVID-19) is a harmful illness. I solely pray nobody will get it.”
Mr Lal was among the many 14 COVID-19 sufferers who have been placed on ECMO at Medica hospital — 4 of them are nonetheless on the machine, two are awaiting discharge and 5 have recovered. Three of the sufferers, nonetheless, died throughout remedy.
Round 15 years in the past, when swine flu hit UK and Australia, ECMO outperformed ventilators, in line with Dr Arpan Chakraborty, the essential care marketing consultant who is without doubt one of the key leaders on the ECMO group.
“In 2005-06, a landmark trial got here out the place ECMO saved 50 per cent extra sufferers than the ventilator,” he defined. “Normally the lung is sort of a balloon. It turns into like a brick due to extreme COVID-19 pneumonia. At the moment there is no such thing as a choice however to relaxation the lung by taking its motion to the ECMO machine and relaxation the native lung in order that it might probably get well and take over its personal faction operate after 14 days,” Dr Chakraborty mentioned.
The ECMO requires large group effort, with no less than 20 to 25 folks working around the clock together with nurses, hospital cleaners, perfusionists and medical doctors.
The machine drains the blood from the affected person’s physique, attracts out the carbon dioxide from the blood, warms it to physique temperature and places it again into circulation. It’s used as a coronary heart and lung machine in ICUs. The machine itself doesn’t deal with COVID-19 however the well being issues that the virus triggers.
A 24-year-old girl with COVID-19 was handled at AMRI Hospital at Dhakuria in Kolkata, utilizing ECMO. She was discharged on June eight after 300 hours on the machine.
A COVID-19 affected person in Delhi and one other in Chennai, nonetheless, died regardless of being placed on the ECMO.
Delhi has used ECMO for 5 sufferers, Maharashtra’s Mumbai for 9, Ahmedabad for 11 and Kolkata for 20.
Dr Kunal Sarkar, senior heart specialist and vice-chairman at Medica Superspeciality Hospital, mentioned: “The ECMO is tough work. It is a new, difficult know-how. For the time being, it’s undoubtedly a bit punishing on the funds however has given us some ray of hope in serving to individuals who in any other case would not even have had a 48-hours life expectancy.”
Dr Sarkar mentioned the West Bengal authorities has three ECMO machines which needs to be pressed into service on the earliest.
West Bengal coronavirus instances crossed the one-lakh mark on Tuesday whereas the loss of life depend rose to 2,149. The overall quantity of people that recovered from COVID-19 within the state was 73,395 on Tuesday, in line with the state well being division.