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KIMSHEALTH Docs Employ ECMO; Saves Pregnant who Suffered 2 Heart-attacks

In Health
April 07, 2022

Doctors at KIMSHEALTH made best use of the ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) system in the hospital by giving fresh lease of life to a pregnant woman who suffered two heart-attacks during labour pains owing to the rare case of amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) that can lead to death.

The young patient was rushed to KIMSHEALTH in the state capital after she suffered a cardiac arrest at another hospital where she was admitted for child delivery. The complication was due to AFE, where the amniotic fluid that serves as a cushion for the foetus inside the womb enters the mother’s blood-stream to trigger a serious reaction.

Doctors at the earlier hospital managed to overcome the emergency, and then referred to KIMSHEALTH for further management.

At KIMSHEALTH, the patient suffered a second cardiac arrest. As the oxygen content in her blood dipped to a dangerous low, the doctors chose to go for ECMO. This ensured the pregnant woman would avail the state-of-the-art technique which extends prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to the patient’s heart and lungs that are unable to provide adequate amount of gas exchange to sustain life.

With help from KIMSHEALTH’s doctors at the cardiothoracic department, the patient was provided ECMO facilities. Five days of intense treatment led the woman to the path to recovery, normalizing the function of her heart and lungs. The child was taken out after the first cardiac arrest, but it couldn’t be rescued.

“We inserted tubes into the blood vessels and veins of the patient’s legs to employ ECMO,” said Dr Shaji Palangadan, senior consultant at the cardiothoracic section of KIMSHEALTH. “Simultaneously we also provided the woman with the ECPR facility to ensure that her heart-beats would continue even as her cardio and respiratory systems function.”

Within six days, the heart and the lungs of the patient began to function as normal. The surgery was done by a team that comprised Dr Radhamony D, Senior Consultant, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Dr Jacob John, Coordinator, Anesthesia, Dr Subash, Cardio-Thoracic Anesthetist along with doctors and nurses with the departments of Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac Anesthesia and Gynecology.

Dr Sajith Mohan R., who is consultant gynecologist and obstetrician at KIMSHEALTH, termed AFE as an “extremely rare” complication, leading to the death of the pregnant in 90 per cent cases. “We could rescue the patient just because the hospital had ECMO facility.”

ECMO is proving to be increasingly beneficial since the outbreak of Covid-19 two years ago. KIMSHEALTH had a fortnight ago organized a two-day national-level workshop on ECMO to provide hands-on training to the doctors at the multi-specialty hospital.