The case was extremely critical and complex as her foetus could not be delivered prematurely but had to be protected from the virus in the womb.
NEW DELHI: In a rare case, doctors at the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI) treated successfully a-30-year-old pregnant woman who had tested positive for swine flu (H1N1 virus).
The case was extremely critical and complex as her foetus could not be delivered prematurely but had to be protected from the virus in the womb. There was also a risk of the mother developing bleeding complications and losing the unborn child. The 24-week pregnant woman was brought to the hospital with fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath.
A team of doctors, led by Dr Vineeta Goyal, senior consultant in the critical care department at FEHI, took on the high-risk case and treated the patient successfully through extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Dr Goyal said: “Her condition continued to deteriorate. When the chances of survival for both the mother and the child fell considerably, the patient’s family was given the option for ECMO which acts as a heart-lungs bypass. It can support and perform the functions of the lungs and the heart of the mother and the child Within one hour of ventilation, ECMO was instituted. There was immediate improvement in the blood oxygen levels of the patient. Since she had tested positive for the H1N1 virus, we had to treat her with antivirals such as ‘oseltamivir’.
“A gynaecologist was consulted on regular basis and repeated ultrasounds were done to ensure foetal wellbeing. After fifteen days, the patient was successfully weaned off ECMO and her foetus was alive and thriving.”