A 59-year-old man discharged from hospital after 113 days of Covid-19 treatment was among 1,155 patients discharged on Friday, when the state added 1,075 new cases — lowest in a month — to its total tally of 2,33,543 cases.
Devendra Parmar, the man who spent nearly 90 out of 113 days in hospital on ventilator, at the Civil hospital in Sola was admitted to Sharnam Multispeciality Hospital on August 26, with fever and breathlessness. He was referred to Sola hospital later after testing positive for Covid-19, said his daughter Himangi.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel who also holds the health portfolio, said, “I believe, it is possible that this is a first-of-kind case (in terms of duration of hospitalisation) in the entire country.”
Patel, who was present at the hospital when Parmar was discharged, exemplified the case as a testimony to Gujarat’s “excellent health services and doctors”.
According to Patel, as per information provided by Parmar’s wife, Induben, the family resides at Kalikund in Dholka block, Ahmedabad. Parmar was working as an accountant at a private company. “He was referred to Sola Civil Hospital from a Dholka hospital on August 28 and was in critical condition… fortunately, his wife is an employee of our health department and is well aware of the care required in Covid-19… He was kept on ventilator for a very long time and his lungs were fragile and damaged, requiring as much as 75 litre of oxygen per minute at one point of time…but very little of that was getting absorbed due to the lung damage.”
The health minister added, “He gradually showed improvement, encouraging our doctors, and his family. Today, on the 113th day, he is leaving the hospital and still requires four litres of oxygen per minute, with the hospital providing him oxygen cylinder at home… He will have to be on oxygen for some time.”
Induben is a field health worker with the Gujarat health department.
Among Parmar’s treating doctors were pulmonologist Dr Kiran Rami, anesthetist Dr Ira Patel, and general medicine head of department Dr Parul Bhatt. Nitin Patel said Parmar was treated free of cost, which would have “cost Rs 30 lakh at a private hospital,” adding that “no price can be attached to human life”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Kiran Rami said that the patient was in need of oxygen ranging from eight to 10 litres per minute and was on a non-rebreather mask (NRBM) as initial CT-scan showed significant lung damage.
By the last week of September, Parmar tested negative for Covid-19. However, on October 3, a CT-scan showed extensive fibroids in his lungs, Dr Rami said. October was manageable with Parmar maintaining his oxygen saturation levels with assisted devices, he said.
On November 7, Parmar complained of chest pain and severe breathing problem, with oxygen saturation level dropping to 80 per cent. CT-scan showed a collapsed left lung or what is medically known as pneumothorax. An intercostal drainage (ICD) tube was inserted surgically to drain out the air from the lungs, Dr Rami added.
In 12 days, his lungs regained form and by November 20, Parmar was shifted to the non-Covid ICU with physiotherapy. Following stable vitals and blood reports, and Parmar expressing wishes to recuperate at home, the 59-year old was discharged on December 18.
Dr Rami added that “it is still a long battle”, given that the fibroids in his lungs even in the latest CT-scan. Fatigue, muscle loss, and exhaustion will remain for some time, he added.
Himangi (27), who is preparing for government exams, said that being a single child she was holding fort at home while her mother was at the hospital. “Initially my fiancé would deliver home food to her but that was not sustainable… we were very tensed, no one knew what would happen… we are glad he is back now….”
She said that her mother who took leave to be with Devendra, would soon rejoin work while Himangi will take over caregiving duties.
Meanwhile, Gujarat reported nine fatalities due to Covid-19 on Friday, four of which were reported from Ahmedabad city. Three districts — Tapi, Valsad and Dangs — did not report a single new case. Three other districts where six cases each were reported — Botad, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Gir Somnath — saw no patient being discharged.
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