Gujarat-based Jaysukbhai Thaker, who was suffering from a end-stage cardiac failure was admitted to a hospital in Porbandar. Since he had been diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, Thaker was airlifted from Porbandar to Chennai in January for a heart transplant.
‘Gujarat-based Jaysukbhai Thaker, admitted at Fortis Malar Hospital in Chennai for a heart transplant, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and was brought back to life using Extracorporeal CPR after 45 minutes of experiencing a complete drop in pulse and heartbeat.’
He was on the waitlist for a donor heart. Unfortunately, he developed severe complications and his heart was not able to pump blood, leading to a cardiac arrest. Doctors at the Fortis Malar hospital immediately gave him cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for 45 minutes.
But the patient remained unresponsive to the treatment. Then, doctors shifted the patient to the ICU and gave Extracorporeal CPR. It is a portable heart-lung machine that acts as an artificial heart outside the body. The machine will take blood from the body and pumps back oxygenated blood.
Thaker's heart started beating slightly, so he was kept on this machine for about ten days. He was in a coma stage and the ECPR was the only thing that kept him alive for the whole ten days. Doctors then inserted an artificial heart pump or Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) called Centrimag to support his heart. For his family, this period would have been a nightmare.
Fortunately, a Hyderabad-based hospital sent a donor heart to Malar hospital, where four heart surgeons led by Dr. KR Balakrishnan, who had given the ECPR before immediately decided to conduct the heart transplant on Thaker. Thus, the 38-year-old man who was almost dead was brought back to life by the timely efforts of the Chennai-based cardiac surgeons.
"The patient made a steady recovery post the surgery and is now leading a normal life. While mechanical CPR was performed on the patient, ECMO was introduced to revive his heartbeat," said KR Balakrishnan, Director of Cardiac Sciences at Fortis Malar Hospital.
"We have increasingly started using ECPR for 'in hospital' cardiac arrest with very good outcomes and are exploring the possibility of extending it to other locations, including outside the hospital, as is done in a few places around the world, like Japan, San Diego and Taiwan," he added.