In a case that provides hope for the treatment of patients suffering from covid19, medical specialists at Aster CMI Hospital successfully revived and gave a 51-year-old Covid-19 patient, Sahiba (name changed) a new lease of life after she suffered from three consecutive cardiac arrests within the first two hours of her admission to the emergency department and ICU for Covid-19 treatment in the hospital. The patient suffered cardiac arrests owing to very low blood oxygen saturation level due to severe Covid-19 pneumonia. The patient’s condition was all the more serious as she was suffering from obesity and had multiple other co-morbidities – she had undergone a surgery in the recent past, she was asthmatic, and suffered from pneumonia and severe neurological issues. All these made her medical condition even more critical. Experts stated that multiple studies have noted an increased burden of cardiovascular diseases (4%-14%) and cardiovascular comorbidities among COVID-19 patients, often associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
Sahiba was in a very critical situation and her chances of survival was very less with multiple cardiac arrests in a small span of time as she fought Covid-19 and other pre-existing medical conditions at the age of 51 years. Her condition needed immediate attention and to stabilize the situation, her heart was resuscitated by doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). This emergency life-saving procedure is done when a patient’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. The doctors wasted no time and kept giving her external cardiac massage and instituted other resuscitation and life support measures to keep pumping blood and maintaining circulation to all the vital organs. Apart from this, she was treated with appropriate drugs for Covid-19 and was put on a life support machine.
COVID-19 is a primarily respiratory illness, manifesting with severe hypoxia and often progressing to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and death. However, it is also known to be linked to a wide range of cardiovascular (CV) manifestations that are associated with poor prognosis. Cardiovascular issues are prominent among covid patients mainly due to two reasons. Firstly, it is due to the inflammation affecting the heart muscles and secondly due to the presence of small clots everywhere in the patient’s body. Hence, Sahiba was put on life-support for 20 days. Following this period of intensive care, Sahiba was removed from ventilation and underwent rehabilitation sessions within the hospital. Gradually, Sahiba began to recover, after which she was discharged for further home care. The primary tradition at Aster CMI of referring and following up with the patient’s health, gave the doctors scope to know if the patient was doing well and if any Covid-19 related issues persisted.
Dr. Prakash Doraiswamy, Sr. Consultant – Critical Care & Anaesthesiology, Aster CMI Hospital, who treated the patient, said: “Firstly, patients who are under ventilation for a prolonged duration often experience bodily weakness and the muscles tend to become inactive as the ventilator is doing all the work and they are asleep. Secondly, because of the illness and isolation, the psychological condition of the patients are highly impacted as they have no attendees from their home and it is only the medical staff suited in their PPEs around them who can be in contact with the patients. The PPE suite makes it difficult to recognize them and they can only be identified through their voice. Hence, it is a must for these patients to experience support at the rehabilitation centre post their treatment. Besides this, we at Aster CMI, are working continuously towards extending all our support to these patients – whether it is by connecting them to their dear ones through video calls or just encouraging them to stay positive by motivating them.”
“Patient Sahiba was discharged only after she was stable and fit. She was revived from a condition where she had just 5 to 20 percent chances of survival. Now, as part of her home care, she needs to have good nutritional food and liquid supplements on a regular basis. Besides this, she needs to continue her physiotherapy rigorously and make use of the support from the continued rehab facilities at the utmost,” Dr. Prakash further added.
Sahiba’s son-in-law, Farooq (name changed) who had been taking care of her, said: “We had reached out to our local doctor as her oxygen saturation level had dropped and we were aware of her other comorbidities. We initially assessed that she may be experiencing a normal viral problem. But on visiting the doctor, he recommended a Covid-19 test. After her tests turned positive, we had to search for an ICU bed in the city and finally we got one at Aster CMI Hospital, where she was immediately admitted to the Covid-19 ICU ward. And as soon as she was admitted, she suffered three consecutive cardiac arrests within two hours. With her neurological problems and other pre-existing health issues, we were worried about her survival chances. But Dr. Prakash was confident and positive that he would revive her back and asked us to stay calm and positive.”
“Later on, all the procedures were undertaken and she was treated for 20 days. It was a really tough time for us as we could not visit her in the Covid-19 ward and were quarantined. We were however connected to the patient on a regular basis through calls and were regularly updated of all the proceedings from the medical fraternity, which gave us confidence and relief and helped us stay positive. Now, the patient is doing good and she is keeping both mentally and physically fit. We wish to convey our gratitude and greatfullness towards the multiple specialists at Aster CMI for saving her life,” Farooq added.