Doctors at the SUM Covid Hospital here had to walk on the razor’s edge to turn around a patient afflicted with severe category Covid-19 and suffering from a serious underlying disease at the same time.
The 40-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 at another hospital, was transferred to the SUM Covid Hospital with multiple health issues including breathlessness, fast heartbeat, high respiratory rate, low blood pressure and high temperature, Dr. Rajesh Lenka, Chief Nodal Officer, SUM Covid Hospitals, said.
But experienced doctors, nurses and paramedics at the hospital fought hard to first stabilize her in the ICU bringing her back from the brink, Dr. Lenka said.
“Initially we diagnosed her with Covid pneumonia and she slowly responded to treatment, but subsequently she was found to be suffering from a serious underlying disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), also known as Lupus,” Dr. Samir Sahu, Clinical Head of the SUM Covid Hospital, said.
The patient had been suffering from Lupus for around three years and visited several hospitals but the disease went undiagnosed till she came to SUM Covid Hospital, Dr. Sahu said adding it was a challenging job to handle such a case in the present circumstances.
The patient had hypothyroid issue and had been suffering from fever for three months. She also complained of joint pain, loss of hair, tightening of skin and red patches on her face, Dr. Pradeepta Shekhar Patro, Rheumatologist and Clinical Immunologist of IMS and SUM Hospital, said.
Even as she was being treated in the ICU, investigations continued to determine her underlying medical condition, Dr. Patro said adding since both Covid-19 and Lupus had similar lab parameters it was difficult to ascertain her condition.
“After admission we made her primary diagnosis that she was suffering from Lupus as well. The problem that arose thereafter was that we could not administer her steroids or immuno suppressants as it could delay the viral clearance,” he said.
Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue, he explained.
“We had to balance the two treatments and it was almost like a walk on the razor’s edge,” Dr. Patro said.
The patient completely recovered after 12 days of sustained treatment when she tested negative for Covid-19 and her platelet count increased from 40,000 to 1,20,000. She was discharged from the hospital subsequently, he said.
Dr. S.S.Mohapatra, Head of Radiology department and Advisor, SUM Covid Hospital, Dr. Iswar Chandra Behera, Critical Care specialistand Dr. Banani Jena, Head of Department, Pulmonary Medicine, also treated the patient.
The team of doctors had also successfully treated an 85-year-old woman and a 60-year-old diabetic, both infected by Covid-19, helping them to recover before they were discharged from the hospital on May 13. The diabetic patient also did not know about his medical condition till he was admitted into the hospital.
IMS and SUM Hospital, faculty of medical sciences of the SOA Deemed to be University, has been operating three Covid Hospitals in the state, the other two being at Talcher and Kendrapara. The Covid-19 Hospital at Bhubaneswar is the largest in the state and second largest in the country with 525 beds including 25 ICU beds. The Talcher Hospital has 156 beds including six ICU beds while the facility at Kendrapara has 110 beds which included ten ICU beds.