Chennai

Vivekh critical, on ECMO support

Clearing the air: Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan at the press meet at SIMS Hospital on Friday.  

Actor Vivekh, who suffered a heart attack on Friday, is in a critical condition and is on ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) support at SIMS Hospital in Chennai.

Raju Sivasamy, vice-president, SIMS Hospital, told reporters that he was brought to the hospital in an unconscious state at 11 a.m. by his family members. An emergency team, along with cardiologists, resuscitated him. “He was shifted to the Cath lab, after an emergency coronary angiogram showed 100% blockage in his left anterior descending artery (LAD). He underwent angioplasty and is currently in the intensive care unit on ECMO support,” he said.

He said Mr. Vivekh’s condition would be reviewed after 24-hour observation in the ICU. “This is an acute coronary syndrome with cardiogenic shock. This is a separate cardiac event, and is not related to the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.

The clarification on vaccination was issued as the actor had received Covaxin on Thursday.

“This came as a shock for us,” said Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, who was present along with the actor during the vaccination on Thursday. He, along with the Directors of Medical Education and Medical and Rural Health Services, met the treating team of doctors at SIMS Hospital. He said the actor had tested negative for COVID-19.

A test had been conducted using GeneXpert, while a CT scan, too, did not show any COVID-19 findings.

“This is a temporal association. He had a 100% block in the LAD and has now been treated for it. A 100% block does not happen in a day. A total of 860 persons received Covaxin jabs at the hospital on the same day. Anaphylactic reaction following the vaccine occurs in 15-30 minutes, for which we always keep a crash cart ready,” he said.

He added that so far, Covaxin had been administered to 5.68 lakh people in the State.

Vivekh, a Padma Shri recipient, has acted in over 200 feature films after being introduced by K. Balachander, whom he credits as his mentor. The comedian gained fame over the years by playing important roles in blockbusters like Run, Saamy, Minnale, Dhool, Kushi and Sivaji to mention a few, and ruled the Kollywood comedy scene along with Vadivelu from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s. He was last seen in Dharala Prabhu, the Tamil remake of the 2012 Hindi film Vicky Donor.

The actor has also appeared as the lead in films, such as the recent Vellai Pookal, and was known for his close association with former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, after which he was involved in several social causes such as afforestation.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 4:01:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/vivekh-critical-on-ecmo-support/article34339988.ece

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