Doctors at Fortis Mohali save 35-year-old man with Failing Heart via ECMO

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Doctors at Fortis Mohali save 35-year-old man with Failing Heart via ECMO

The Department of Cardiology, Fortis Hospital Mohali,  saved the life of a 35-year-old man suffering from Valvular Heart Disease (valve in the heart is damaged or diseased) via the most advanced technology of ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation).Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a form of extracorporeal life support, providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of oxygen, gas exchange or blood supply to sustain life.

The team of doctors led by Dr Karun Behal, Additional Director, Department of Cardiology, Fortis Hospital Mohali treated the patient, who was already on Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP) and ventilator support system, and was able to improve the heart and lung function of the patient. An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a device that controls blood flow from your heart. It deflates when your heart pumps blood out and inflates when your heart rests between the heartbeats.

The Patient had been experiencing acute shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations and fatigue. He was rushed to Fortis Mohali recently and immediately put on the ventilator. An ECG revealed changes in his heart rhythm suggesting a heart attack. Though his angiography was normal, his heart was not functioning well, following which an IABP device was inserted. Even as the patient was taken off the ventilator after two days, his condition worsened and he was again put on life support system. Though the patient suffered a cardiac arrest on IABP and ventilator, Dr Behal was able to successfully revive him.

As the left side of his heart was not able to pump adequate blood, the patient was put on life support system. There was a marked improvement in the patient’s health and his blood reports showed a recently acquired Leptospira infection (bacterial disease that spreads through the urine of infected animals like dogs and farm animals).

Dr Behal further treated the Patient with intravenous antibiotics and a high dose of injectable steroids. The Patient’s health improved gradually and he was weaned off the ventilator, followed by the IABP device and then ECMO, which was done by CTVS team under Dr. T.S. Mahant, Executive Director and Head-Cardiac Surgery. He was discharged after a month and is leading a normal life today.

Discussing the case, Dr Behal, said, “The Patient’s heart recovered gradually with an Ejection fraction of 25% — it measures the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood out to the body. ECMO is an invaluable device to treat life-threatening cardiac conditions. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, lack of appetite and generalized weakness over a long period of time should be brought to the notice of a cardiologist.”

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