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Friday, June 25, 2021

‘I didn’t lose hope’: First post-Covid patient with black fungus treated, discharged from GMCH 32

Dharam Pal, a diabetic with high sugar levels, was admitted in GMCH with suspected symptoms of Covid-19 in the first week of May.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: May 27, 2021 11:31:22 pm
GMCH has reserved dedicated beds, along with HDU and ICU facilities, for both Covid positive as well as post-Covid mucormycosis patients. (Express File)

It is a homecoming that 69-year-old Dharam Pal Kakkar and his wife Veena Kakkar had been praying for since the last 25 days.

Kakkar, a resident of Sector 51, Chandigarh, was discharged on Thursday evening, thereby becoming the first patient of post-Covid mucormycosis (black fungus) to be discharged from GMCH-32, after successfully undergoing surgery and therapy.

“I am so thankful to God, the staff at the hospital who took so much care of me, and my wife Veena, whose love and prayers have brought me back from the dead. No one could have done what she has done for me. I didn’t lose hope and fought with all my willpower. When I regained consciousness after the surgery and told my doctors that I was feeling well, everyone around me clapped,” Dharam Pal says softly.

Dharam Pal, a diabetic with high sugar levels, was admitted in GMCH with suspected symptoms of Covid-19 in the first week of May. He had fever, shortness of breath and a blackish discharge coming from the nose. The patient’s investigations — says Professor Surinder Singhal, who led the surgical team — like CRP, D-Dimer and LDH were significantly raised pointing to a Covid-19 infection.

Nasal endoscopic examination revealed blackish crusts and discoloration in the nose. KOH smear from the nose showed aseptate hyphae suggestive of mucormycosis and CT scan of the nose and paranasal sinus showed opacification of the sinuses.

“He had swelling in his left eye, impairment of vision and double vision. The patient was started on Amphotericin B and later endoscopic debridement, and thankfully, we could save his eye. The surgery was essential to clear the disease. Today, he was fit for discharge, though his treatment for diabetes will continue and he was advised to contact us as and when required,” explained Prof. Singhal.

Though GMCH has been treating patients of mucormycosis earlier too, according to Prof. Singhal, the disease presents many complications because of Covid.

GMCH at present has 29 patients of Covid-related mucormycosis under treatment. Twenty patients have been operated till now by the ENT team. Rest of the patients will be operated on as soon as they are fit for surgery.

GMCH has reserved dedicated beds, along with HDU and ICU facilities, for both Covid positive as well as post-Covid mucormycosis patients.

A multi-disciplinary team consisting of physicians, ENT surgeons, ophthalmologists, anesthetists, microbiologists and radiologists was constituted under the chairmanship of Director-Principal Professor Jasbinder Kaur and Medical Superintendent Prof. Sudhir Garg. to take care of these patients.

“Patients, especially those who have co-morbidities, must not ignore medical guidelines, and not delay consultation in case of any signs and symptoms. Early treatment can save lives, but if the disease reaches the brain, it can be fatal,” adds Professor Singhal.

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