Bengaluru man leaves hospital after 131 days of treatment | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Venugopala M, a BEML employee, tested positive for Covid-19 on September 21 and was admitted to Manipal Hospitals, Whitefield, the next day. Though his initial symptoms were only cough and gastric discomfort, his condition gradually worsened with declining oxygen saturation levels. He was shifted to the ICU on September 26 and was on high-flow nasal oxygen cannula, a treatment mode for severe Covid1-9 cases.
There was no improvement, so he was put on a ventilator on September 29. “Things still didn’t change. The same day, he was put on ECMO with the family’s consent,” Dr Rajesh Mohan Shetty, consultant, critical care medicine, Manipal Hospitals.
For 21 days, Venugopala showed little progress. According to Dr Shetty, in such cases, the infection may go after some time, but the damage to the lungs takes time to heal. “… But for two days initially, when he was out on ventilator and ECMO, Venugopala was conscious throughout. We didn’t do a tracheostomy on his neck, which is usually done to make breathing easy. He improved gradually,” he said, adding that Venugopala may be among the longest Covid-ECMO survivors in India.
The heart-lung machine, or ECMO, works like a bypass machine that is used during open-heart surgeries. It pumps and oxygenates patients’ blood outside the body, allowing the lungs and heart to rest and recover from the infection. Venugopala’s CT severity score was 25/25, which meant that there was 100 per cent lung involvement.
His son, Manoj, said that clear communication from doctors helped the family make the right decisions. “He took a Covid-19 test after his friend received a positive report. He had only two symptoms at the time,” Manoj said.
Venugopala was still in the ICU when his wedding anniversary arrived in November. The family could meet him regularly after he was moved to a private ward from the ICU on December 14. To boost morale, the hospital arranged counselling sessions for him and his family members. The family sold a property to pay the hospital bill, which was not covered by insurance.