A 39-year-old IT professional with severe COVID pneumonia, brought back to life with ECMO support

Patient with acute COVID infection treated meticulously at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital

Bangalore, December 21st, 2021: A 39-year-old IT professional from Bangalore presented with severe COVID pneumonia, fought for his life for 3 weeks on ECMO support and successfully recovered at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital. Mr Mahesh, a fitness enthusiast who has no history of illness, presented to the hospital on 22nd, November 2021, with 103 -104 fever and hypoxia, severe enough for placement into an induced situation. After a thorough CT scan, doctors learned that his health condition was critical, hence was moved directly to the ICU. As his health condition was deteriorating, the COVID team, CTVS (Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons) and ICU team, with the consent of the patient’s family, decided to put the patient on ECMO support which brought him back to life.

Mr Mahesh, an IT professional who resides in Bangalore was admitted to BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital in the state of hypoxia, cough and high fever. He has always been a fitness enthusiast and has no history of illness. Following the Government protocol, the patient was fully vaccinated. However, after experiencing shortness of breath and high fever for 7 days, the patient was compelled to approach a doctor from BGS GGH. Doctors performed a few rounds of tests, in which the CT scan score was 22 out of 25 points confirming severe lung infection. After discussing and taking suggestions from the other team of doctors, they decided to prepare a treatment plan for the patient.

Dr Gourishankar Reddy Mane, Head of Medical ICU and COVID ICU, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital: “When the patient was admitted to the hospital, his condition was deteriorating rapidly. After looking at the test results, we were a bit skeptical in the beginning, but considering the patient’s age and no co morbidities gave us a hope that the patient will respond well to our treatment. However, his health continued to deteriorate for the next seven days despite all medical management. That is when we planned to put him on invasive ventilation and then ECMO.”

With an approval from the patient’s family members, the doctors put Mr Mahesh on ventilator, on 26th November midnight, however the patient was not responding well to that treatment as well. Striving hard to bring down the infection and improve the vitals, doctors immediately put the patient on the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support otherwise known as "life support”) on 27th November at 3 AM. He was on the ECMO and ICU support for more than 15 days. The journey on ECMO was not easy, as expected. He had various issues like infections and bleeding episodes. It required rigorous monitoring.

Dr Raghavendrra Chikatoor, Senior Consultant and Head of CTVS & Transplant Department, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said "ECMO is a machine used for patients who are severely ill, especially when their heart and lungs are not functioning appropriately. In patients like Mr Mahesh, who are suffering from Refractory Respiratory Failure, severe ARDS, COVID Pneumonia, ECMO allows the blood to "bypass" the lungs, allowing them to rest and heal. Because of bleeding issues, we had to use a special anticoagulant Bilavuridin instead of usual Heparin for keeping blood thin in the ECMO circuit."

Dr Sandeepa H S, Pulmonologist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital: The patient was admitted in the state of very severe ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) which caused the delay in the recovery period. His condition became critical because he presented late to the hospital and tried to manage with self medication. By the time he reached, 90 percent of his lungs were damaged.

Some of his other organ systems were partially affected but recovered quickly, with right medical intervention.

Mr Mahesh responded well to the ECMO support and is recovering well. His CT score has come down to 18 from 22 which is the good sign of improvement. He was moved from the ICU to the General Ward and is currently under observation.

Mr Mahesh’s case was successfully and meticulously handled by the ICU team headed by Dr Gourishankar Reddy Manne, pulmonologists headed by Dr Vishwanath Bellad and Dr Sandeepa H S, Senior consultant of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and critical care Dr Shivaprakash S and CTVS (Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons) team comprising of Dr Raghavendrra Chikatoor and Dr Madhusudana N.

Mr Mahesh will recover completely in 3 months with right medical support and physiotherapy.

Sandeep Kumar, CEO, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital: “Monitor your health daily! Be alert for symptoms like a fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you notice any of them, then it's important to see a doctor immediately or else COVID-19 infection can cause serious damage before reaching the hospital. What helped Mr Mahesh was getting treated in a tertiary care center where all his needs were met under one roof.”

“It is essential to monitor your symptoms such as keeping track over your body temperature, oxygen saturation levels of your body and update your family doctor before it’s too late.”

About BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Kengeri, Bengaluru:

BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital at Kengeri, Bengaluru is one of Karnataka’s most renowned multi-organ transplant and tertiary care multi-specialty hospital with a key focus on Gastroenterology, Cancer Care, Neurosciences, Renal Sciences and Cardiac Sciences. The NABH and NABL accredited hospital operates 100+ beds. A modern Cath Lab, 6 operation theatres, advanced imaging services (Trubeam STX and Tesla MRI) offer cutting edge emergency and critical care management following internationally approved clinical protocols.

Over 10 years of clinical excellence has earned the hospital tie-ups with all major cashless health insurance players and is the preferred choice hospital by all major corporates in the neighbourhood. The hospital also offers Video Consult services to its patients in India, Africa and SAARC nations.

BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital is a part of IHH Healthcare, one of the world’s largest healthcare providers. With its full spectrum of integrated services, dedicated people, reach and scale, and commitment to quality and safety, IHH aspires to be the world’s most trusted healthcare services network, united by a single purpose: to touch lives and transform care.

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