In a first-of-its-kind case, the doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital saved the lives of three swine flu patients diagnosed with swine flu by using a unique process called ‘Prone Ventilation’.
In this process, patients are advised to lie on the bed with stomach down and back side up till the time a patient is on the ventilation support.
Dr Atul Gogia, a senior consultant in the department of internal medicine at Sir Ganga Ram, said, “We had three patients who suffered from acute respiratory distress due to swine flu infection. The patients’ lungs had become so stiff that oxygen supply failed to pass, increasing the risk of fatality. Despite putting them on ventilator, the oxygen supply was not 100 percent. So we changed the posture of the patients to ‘prone positions’. We faced a lot of challenges to save the patients’ lives.”
Dr Gogia added that two patients are from an elderly age group and the third ones is in his 40s.
Geeta Devi (name changed) is still under the observation of the doctors. She was treated in prone posture on ventilation support.
According to figures released by union health ministry, about 22,186 cases of swine flu were recorded till August 20 and the disease claimed at least 1,094 lives.
In the national Capital, the influenza A (H1N1) has infected nearly 2,000 people, and caused five deaths. “My mother was not getting relief despite the doctors here providing all possible medical aid. The oxygen supply to the lungs was minimal and this was life strengthening. Putting her in prone position was difficult but she managed. Now, my mother is recovering,” said Rahul, Geeta’s son. Health experts say that this year, the cases of swine flu started early. Usually its peak time is during onset of winters. “The virus is circulating due to erratic rains this time. With the vector-borne diseases (dengue, malaria and chikungyuna) already spread to an alarming level in the city, one has to be cautious,” said Dr Gogia.