Tamil Nadu

Jharkhand Minister recovers

Jharkhand Education Minister Jagarnath Mahto, who was admitted to MGM Healthcare with COVID-19-induced severe complications three months ago, has recovered. He underwent a lung transplant and is doing well, hospital authorities said.

Mr. Mahto, 54, developed fibrosis in the lungs due to the infection, which severely damaged the organ. He had several complications, including hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease.

As his condition deteriorated, a clinical team from the hospital put him on ECMO on October 19, and airlifted him to Chennai for advanced care. Ten days later, he was tracheostomised. When a CT scan showed no improvement in his lungs, he was listed for a transplant.

After 23 days on ECMO, he underwent a bilateral lung transplant on November 10.

K.R. Balakrishnan, chairman and director of Cardiac Sciences and director of the lung transplant programme at the hospital, who led the team of surgeons that did the transplant, said: “Given the condition of the Minister, we made some quick decisions to ensure patient safety and expected outcome. We weighed in all the options available, and decided to go ahead with the transplant. The patient responded well and his lungs are now working well. The Minister was taken off ECMO, following gradual improvement in his oxygenation levels.”

He was weaned from mechanical ventilation on December 8. The tracheostomy was removed on January 1. According to Suresh Rao, co-director of the Institute and Mechanical Circulatory Support, “The Minister is stable. For select patients suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia, when all medications and mechanical ventilators fail to show positive results, an early initiation of ECMO support may be a lifesaving modality.”

Apar Jindal, clinical director and consultant, Lung Transplant, Interventional Pulmonology and Chest Medicine, said lung transplants might help COVID-19 survivors with severe fibrosis in the lungs, as they could become chronic respiratory patients. “In such patients, when all other clinical and mechanical interventions fail, lung transplantation is an option,” he said.

Hospital director Prashanth Rajagopalan said the hospital had one of the largest ECMO programmes in the region, with the best clinical talent and a proven track record for pioneering medical procedures.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 6:29:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jharkhand-minister-recovers/article33630707.ece

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