A RARE RECOVERY: Covid patient survives after 41 days of ECMO support

Hydrebad,  Doctors of Medicover Hospitals of Hyderbad done a rare recovery of a Covid19 Patient. According to doctors a 36-year-old middle-class family girl with severe COVID pneumonia was presented to us on May 11 with severe respiratory distress. Initially, the doctors tried to manage with high flow oxygen support; however, she could not tolerate it and was put on the ventilator. Unfortunately, despite being on the ventilator in a prone position her oxygen levels did not improve much, the doctors had no choice but to initiate ECMO support.

With a slow recovery, she stayed on ECMO support for 41 days out of 90 days during which time she had lots of fluctuations in her conditions, and on some occasions, the doctors felt that she will not survive. The doctors put in their best efforts in helping her fight the condition. Multiple attempts were made to wean her off ECMO and it just failed. Over a period of time, her kidneys also got affected requiring dialysis support.

But gradually, ECMO supports were decreased and finally, after 41 days she was taken off the ECMO support and put on complete ventilator support. Subsequently, through the tracheostomy, she was connected to the high flow oxygen and taken off the ventilator. Meanwhile, her kidneys also started to recover and she was taken off dialysis.

She had developed severe weakness of her muscles which made it very
difficult for her to even stand or sit. Intense physiotherapy was started from an early period which helped her to regain her power to some extent. The tracheostomy tube was also removed and she was able to speak and eat on her own. Presently she is on 1 liter of oxygen support, awake, cheerful, eating, talking. But still weak and needs rehabilitation through extensive Physiotherapy and good nutritive support.

Dr. Ganshyam M Jagathkar, Director – Critical Care said, “considering the condition in which the patient arrived and the long duration of ECMO support, it is really amazing to see the patient recovering to a full cycle. Patients on long ECMO support do not come out so easily. The Multidisciplinary team of Intensivists, CT-Surgeons, ICU Nurses,
Physiotherapists, and Clinical Nutritionists spared no effort in ensuring every possible effort in bringing her back to normalcy.” The family was strongly behind the treating team and braved all obstacles.