Ludhiana, 16th July, 2012 (Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria)
Mr Vikas Masih – a 35 year old teacher – was in a very serious condition. He had developed a large blood clot in his lungs – a condition called massive pulmonary embolism – due to which he was not able to breathe. He was referred to Dr Harinder Singh Bedi – Head of Cardio Vascular Endovascular & Thoracic Surgery at the Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana. On examination and investigation Dr Bedi realized that Mr Vikas was in imminent danger of death as his oxygen levels were dangerously low. This was damaging his brain and kidneys.
He had already been put on maximal medical therapy including the latest blood thinners at another hospital – but they did not work. The only option to save his life now was a major and rare open heart surgery called pulmonary thrombo-endarterectomy. Dr Bedi said that the surgery is done on a heart lung machine but additionally for a short period of time the circulation even through the heart lung machine has to be stopped. This is called circulatory arrest and is like totally stopping the heart and the lungs - both the natural and artificial ones.
Dr Bedi explained that this is because otherwise the blockage in the lungs cannot be seen clearly. During the tense 10 minutes while the patient was ‘clinically dead’ - on no circulation at all – his lungs were totally cleared of all the deadly clot. Dr Bedi is a pioneer in this field and in fact has trained in this rare surgery at the St Vincents Hospital in Sydney. However this was a very challenging case as Vikas is very young and this extent of disease was unexpected.
The other members of the Heart team are Dr A Joseph, Dr Sheetal Garg, Dr Melchi, Dr Paul, Dr Reenus , Dr Dinesh, Dr Pratap, Dr William, Dr Pearl, Dr Savan, Dr Meenu, DR Nina and Dr Ashwin . The heart lung machine was manned by Mr Jairus and Mr William – who are the senior most perfusionists of Punjab – along with Mr Mathew.
Dr Abraham G Thomas – Director of CMC & H – said that the CMC was committed to bringing the latest technology to Punjab so that the people of this area were given the best possible therapy.