Mumbai: In a pandemic of COVID-19 pneumonia, a life was saved from NON-COVID pneumonia with severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) due to swine flu. The patient was put on a ventilator and progressed to multiorgan failure for which haemodialysis was done. He recovered from the above condition after aggressive intensive care management and was reunited with his family based in Canada after spending almost 8 weeks at Global Hospital, Mumbai.
68-year-old Vakharia, a resident of Canada, who suffered from diabetes and hypertension, came to Mumbai, on a vacation, in February 2020 with his wife. He also travelled to a hill station; Coorg located in Karnataka in March. On returning to Mumbai, as he had flu-like symptoms, he was thought to have Covid-19 pneumonia, but was tested negative for the same and referred to Global Hospital for further management.
Dr Prashant Borade, Head- Critical Care Unit, Global Hospital, Mumbai said “The patient was diagnosed to have pneumonia but COVID swab was negative. His condition further deteriorated and he was intubated and put on a ventilator. He was referred to us as his condition deteriorated; his pneumonia progressed to severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). It is a serious lung condition that causes low blood oxygen. He further progressed to multiorgan failure and was started on Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) a special type of haemodialysis (a treatment to filter waste and water from the blood, as the kidneys did when they were healthy) and this continued for 3 days. His reports revealed a final diagnosis of H2N3 swine flu.”
The patient recovered from this very well and was fit for discharge and required home-based physiotherapy. But he was disheartened as he was away from his family. The only family member present with him was his wife who was elderly having comorbidity, and the couple resided in a containment zone in Mumbai. So, he was unable to go home for the fear of getting on any more infections and the wife was unable to come out. The hospital staff including nursing, doctors and housekeeping now took on the role of his family and was there throughout him to give him the much-needed emotional strength alongside the medical treatment. The patient’s relatives and family in Canada were regularly counselled through video calls as the son was unable to travel from Canada because of the lockdown.
Dr Borade said, “Soon, the patient became mobile and had good oxygen levels without giving any O2. But there was a fear of discharging him as he resided in a containment zone. His family was distressed. Finally, the patient and his family got a much-needed relief. A flight was arranged after discussion with both the country officials and the patient flew directly from the hospital. The patient safely reached Canada after being discharged on 28th April 2020.”
Patient Vakharia’s family expressed their gratitude towards Global Hospital, and have thanked the doctors, nurses and the housekeeping staff for saving the patient’s life and helping him get back home healthy.
Dr Vivek Talaulikar, CEO- Global Hospital, Mumbai said. “As we fight the pandemic and focus on the medical recovery of the patients, it is also important to provide emotional support to them. We follow strict protocols to prevent cross-contamination and hence have restricted visitors for these patients. Under these circumstances, I am proud that the team stood by Mr Vakharia and helped him to go back home hale and hearty.”