A 93-year-old man was discharged from hospital on May 28 after braving through the Covid -19 infection despite the double burden of diabetes and old age.
The nonagenarian had developed a mild fever in mid-May. “As his temperature increased for the next two days, and we got him tested,” his son, a senior retired gynaecologist, said. On May 20, the senior citizen tested positive. It took the family two days to find a hospital bed. On May 22, the 93-year-old man was finally admitted at SL Raheja Hospital.
“When he came to us, he had a lot of cough and fever. He was disoriented. Diabetes in old age affects the body reserves, and the body’s ability to fight infection. He was a high-risk patient,” said Dr Paritosh Baghel, the treating doctor.
The patient, a retired government officer, also had suffered a heart ailment 20 years ago, doctors said, adding that a decision was taken to put him on hydroxychloroquine after ECG. Doctors said they monitored his parameters closely to ensure no adverse reaction. In four days, his condition improved.
The fatality rate in people aged above 60 stands at 8.1 per cent as opposed to the 0.5 per cent rate of death in people aged less than 40 years. Those aged between 40 and 60 years have recorded a death rate at four per cent. Baghel said a lot of senior citizens come to him panicked after getting diagnosed with Covid-19. “Stress and anxiety also play a role in the illness,” he said.
The senior citizens, Baghel said, also suffered hypoxia – a condition where oxygen levels drop – but his condition was stabilised. On May 28, he was finally discharged after his Covid-19 test came negative and chest x-ray clear.
The senior citizen’s granddaughter, aged 21, had also tested positive for the virus, while his son and daughter-in-law were negative. The granddaughter remains admitted at the hospital but is slated to be discharged in a day.
“Through his treatment we realised the families become helpless as they can’t enter a hospital to meet the patient. Hospitals are overburdened and communication is hampered. The government and hospitals must integrate a system to provide daily update on patients through a dashboard. We were lucky the hospital was communicating with us,” the gynaecologist said. He added that his father usually remained at home due to old age. “We don’t know how he contracted the infection, maybe it was when one of us got grocery,” he said.
Doctors in SL Raheja hospital said they have admitted 386 Covid-19 patients till now, of them 315 have recovered and were discharged. Of 30 senior citizens, 23 recovered fully.
In another case, a 90-year-old woman from Dharavi, who suffered from breathlessness, hypertension, fever, cough and low oxygen levels, was discharged from Sion hospital after a week-long hospitalisation. Civic officials said she was put on oxygen support, antibiotics and steroids. Within a week her condition improved. “She started walking and speaking, too,” a BMC official said.
The civic body said 19 seriously ill patients have been treated in Sion hospitals with steroids and oxygen therapy. The hospital used Tocilizumab on 38 patients and 22 of them have recovered, it said.
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