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Siachen miracle soldier comatose, critical

An Indian army soldier uses a rope to cross over a stream during his training near their base camp in Siachen. A ceasefire declared in November between India and Pakistan has brought little respite for the men posted on the glacier where freezing weather and treacherous terrain are far more dangerous than enemy fire. Picture taken October 4, 2003. TO ACCOMPANY FEATURE SOUTHASIA-SIACHEN REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski  AH/CP
An Indian army soldier uses a rope to cross over a stream during his training near their base camp in Siachen. A ceasefire declared in November between India and Pakistan has brought little respite for the men posted on the glacier where freezing weather and treacherous terrain are far more dangerous than enemy fire. Picture taken October 4, 2003. TO ACCOMPANY FEATURE SOUTHASIA-SIACHEN REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski AH/CP

New Delhi Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who survived a deadly avalanche last week at the world’s highest battlefield in Siachen, is currently in a critical condition as he is comatose and is on ventilator support.

Koppad was buried under 35 ft of ice and snow at 20500 ft for five days since the avalanche at Siachen on February 3 and was rescued from the site yesterday.

On recovery, he was found to be conscious but drowsy and disoriented. He was severely dehydrated, hypothermic, hypoxic, hypoglycemic and in shock. He was immediately resuscitated by the doctors at the site, who had been there for the past five days in the hope of a survivor.

He was treated with warm intravenous fluids, humidified warm oxygen and passive external re-warming. He was flown out from the site today by a helicopter, along with a medical specialist to the Siachen base camp, from where he was brought to the Thois air base.

The Army jawan was then transferred to Delhi by a fixed wing aircraft of the IAF along with a Critical Care Specialist of the air force and medical specialist from the Siachen Base Camp.

According to a statement by the Army, he is currently comatose and continues to be in shock with low blood pressure. He also has pneumonia and his investigations have revealed liver and kidney dysfunction.

“Fortunately there was no cold exposure related frost bite or bony injuries to him. He is being treated by a team of intensivists, neurologist, nephrologist, endocrinologist and surgeons. He has been treated with fluids, drugs to bring up his blood pressure and antibiotics. He has been placed on a ventilator to protect his airway and lungs in view of his comatose state. He remains extremely critical and is expected to have a stormy course in the next 24 to 48 hrs due to the complications caused by re warming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body,” the statement said.

Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh, visited Army Hospital Research and Referral (R&R) today and commended the brave heart for his indomitable mental robustness and his refusal to give in to harsh elements of nature. He also conveyed best wishes on behalf of all ranks of the Army for his early and complete recovery.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set aside his security protocol to meet the jawan at the RR Hospital.

Prime Minister Modi after meeting the survivor said that no words are enough to describe the endurance and indomitable spirit of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa.

“He is an outstanding soldier. Team of doctors is attending to Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. We are all hoping & praying for the best,” he tweeted.

After an avalanche on February 3, Lance Naik Hanamanthappa and nine other soldiers were buried deep under the snow. A wall of ice, a kilometer wide and 800 metres high, came crashing down on their post.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa was trapped in an air bubble, which saved his life. (ANI)

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