Fortis doctors pitch in to save the life of a 6 year-old suffering from dengue shock syndrome

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  • Fortis Malar collaborates with Kanchi Kamakoti Childs Trust to save a boy’s life through clinical expertise, advanced technology and crowdfunding

A collaborative effort by two hospitals Fortis Malar and Kanchi Kamakoti Childs Trust Hospital recently gave a six year old boy, Sai Saran, suffering from a complex form of dengue, a new life. Sai had been suffering from pneumonia, dengue, infections and other complications for nearly two months.

Initially admitted at Kanchi Kamakoti Childs Trust Hospital, as his condition deteriorated, he required more intensive treatment and expert medical care that could only be provided by a technologically advanced hospital such as Fortis Malar, Chennai. There are many cases of patients who have little chances of survival but who eventually make it through with the help of clinical expertise and advanced technology available only with a few private hospitals. This is one such case.

The patient, Sai was admitted on the September 27th, 2017 with fever and diagnosed with severe pneumonia. He was put on ventilator support but doctors found that it wasn’t helping. It was decided that ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), a technology which performs the functions of the lungs and heart while they rest, needed to be administered. Fortis Malar, under the guidance of Dr. K R Balakrishnan, provided the required technological assistance. While on ECMO at the KKCTH, Sai’s immune system needed to be strengthened as he tested positive for infections and dengue shock syndrome. He was at a 70% risk of mortality and needed dialysis to keep his system going. All this also indicated additional costs. However, in this case, Fortis Malar collaborated with the KKCT to save his life giving new hope to patients suffering from acute forms of dengue in the country.

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Dr. K R Balakrishnan, Director, Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Malar Hospital, Adyar, Chennai said, “Sai had been admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit for 57 days and was connected to an ECMO machine for 33 days. He was in a severely weakened state and did not seem to be recovering. ECMO was skilfully administered for a long period of time by our doctors. To meet the rising treatment expenses; doctors decided to crowd source the funds, and ultimately raised 18 lakhs for his treatment. On October 31st 2017, we decided to wean him off the ECMO machine and on the 8th of November 2017, we declared Sai fit for discharge. We collaborated with the KKC Trust because we believe that all children are entitled to the best treatment possible. We also ensured that there was a discount given on the ECMO treatment as we understand that there are only a handful of hospitals like ours, who are competent in successfully administering ECMO treatment.”

According to the WHO, 390 million dengue infections are recorded per year globally. In 2015, Delhi, India, recorded its worst outbreak since 2006 with over 15 000 cases. Dengue Shock Syndrome is caused by any of the four strains of the dengue virus.  It tends to affect children under 10, causing abdominal pain, haemorrhage (bleeding) and circulatory collapse (shock). There is no specific treatment for severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers the fatality rates below 1%. Severe dengue affects most Asian and Latin American countries and has become a leading cause of death among children and adults in these regions.

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