New Delhi: A 15-month-old boy, suffering from an acute chest infection and congestion in the heart, was successfully cured after being treated with an extreme form of life support at a city hospital here.
According to doctors at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Joy was suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) — a life-threatening lung condition that prevents enough oxygen from getting to the lungs and into the blood — and septicemia — a serious bloodstream infection.
Also known as bacteremia, or blood poisoning, septicemia occurs when a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body, such as in the lungs or skin, enters the bloodstream and their toxins are carried through the bloodstream to the entire body.
Joy also had poor heart function and his condition turned critical as his blood pressure plummeted to a scary low of 35 on maximum medication and ventilator support. His pupils became dilated indicating some disorder in brain as well.
The baby was then administered Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) treatment in which the blood circulates outside of the body with the help of a machine.
In this therapy, oxygenated blood is pumped to the heart using artificial lungs, thereby taking over the functions of the lungs and sometimes the heart.
After 48 hours of this medical intervention, Joy’s heart showed 40 percent improvement and his lungs started functioning after a week.
The treatment was stopped after 10 days, and he was put off the ventilator on the 14th day.
“We are extremely pleased to be the first centre in north India to have successfully used this life saving ECMO technique among children, and this is a path-breaking news for many kids who report lungs infection,” Rachna Sharma, senior consultant (pediatrics), said in a hospital statement.
The kid was discharged from the hospital early this month and is now doing well, the statement added.