Preteen girl recovers from autoimmune paralysis

Published - October 09, 2021 08:35 pm IST


An 11-year-old girl has recovered from a paralytic attack that was triggered by her autoimmune disorder. Thanks to the joint efforts of doctors from multiple departments at Government Rajaji Hospital, the child, after spending 30 days in the Intensive Respiratory Care Unit (IRCU), is now up on her feet and ready to go home.

It was heartbreaking to see an otherwise conscious child bed-ridden and strapped to a host of tubes and equipment including ventilator for over a month, said head of paediatrics, S Balasankar. In between, she lost her father and the mother had to leave her for few days under the total care of IRCU nurses in the hospital.

The gesture and the care provided by the entire medical and para-medical team earned appreciation from the Dean Dr.A Rathinavel.

Giving details about the case, Dr.Balasankar said the patient had first reported with back ache and pain in her knee and other joints, indicative of rheumatoid arthritis and was on treatment. But she soon returned to the emergency in a totally paralysed condition with respiratory distress.

Two vials of an expensive life saving drug Immunoglobulin were administered intravenously but the child showed no improvement. She could not even move her little finger and was diagnosed with a rare disease called Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder, he said.

After six rounds of plasmapheresis, the patient started improving, regained her strength and mobility. Paediatricians, neurologists, nephrologist, dermatologist, rheumatologist, anaesthetist, physiotherapist, dietician, blood bank officer and nurses, all coordinated meticulously in treating the child successfully, the Dean said.

The treatment with expensive injections (costing up to ₹ 80,000 a vial) and month-long stay in intensive care unit would cost huge sums in any other hospital, he added.

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