A Surat-based doctor who risked his life by removing his oxygen support to intubate another elderly patient while being treated for respiratory failure is off ECMO support in a city hospital where he was shifted and breathing naturally. MGM Healthcare, where Dr Sanket Mehta was reportedly airlifted for treatment, said he was “able to maintain good oxygenation with 100 per cent oxygen saturation.”
According to a release from MGM Healthcare, Dr Mehta,in his late 30s, was put on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO– heart-lung assistance) in a private hospital in Surat for “Covid-19 induced respiratory failure.” Mehta “risked his life by removing his oxygen support to intubate another patient who required ventilator support in the same ICU. During this time his condition further deteriorated since he was off oxygen support for nearly 15-20minutes,” the release said.
The expert team there then decided to shift him to MGM Healthcare about two weeks ago. “On arrival, Dr Sanket had fluctuating oxygen saturation and was ECMO dependent for oxygenation. His chest X-ray showed ‘white out’ lungs, meaning the lungs were stiff and not contributing to oxygen exchange.” Additionally he had severe muscular weakness and was only able to “flicker his fingers, and not move any of his limbs,” it said.
Over some time with continued management and support, his ventilation has improved, lungs have cleared and he can maintain good oxygenation with 100 per cent oxygen saturation, the hospital said. According to Dr K R Balakrishnan, Chairman & Director of Cardiac Sciences and Director of the Heart and LungTransplant Program at MGM Healthcare, “this time, we were dealing with a clinician par excellence who stood tall with his action even when he was vulnerable.” After a thorough assessment, Dr Mehta has been taken off ECMO and his lungs with 40 per cent oxygen support areable to sustain oxygenation at 100 per cent oxygen saturation,the release said.
“He has been undergoing intensive physiotherapy and his muscle power has gradually increased from Grade 0 to Grade 2. All his blood parameters are within normal range,”it added.