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The woman, who delivered a baby 3 months ago, had developed a cardiac arrest and sustained anoxic brain injury
Team of doctors and paramedics from Chennai organized the ‘aero-medical evacuation’, with full medical support, in flight and during transit through airports.
HAMSA Spine & Brain Rehabilitation Centre, a unit of Kauvery Hospital Chennai, is now providing comprehensive rehabilitation, and treatment, for a 36-year-aged woman with brain injury. The patient had recently delivered a baby, and had suffered a cardiac arrest causing anoxic brain injury (injury to the brain from a period of interruption in blood flow and the consequent deprival of oxygen). She currently breathes through a tube introduced through a tracheostomy (a surgical procedure to establish access to the airway, by means of an incision made on the trachea, the windpipe on the front of neck,for delivery of oxygen), and needs 2 liters oxygen per minute. She is able to recognize faces only, and is unable to speak or move.
A serious Brain Injury after Cardiac arrest can leave a patient severely disabled. After the immediate and initial stabilization, rehabilitation is an essential and extended phase of care which requires the expertise and the infrastructure to meet the specific needs of the person. “The patient and her husband were on their student visas, and were unable to meet the medical costs in the USA. They researched on Rehab Centers in Tamil Nadu, and her parents reached out to us for assistance. After detailed discussions with the family, we together decided to fly her down to Chennai to arrange the necessary rehabilitation and other management. Arranging the travel, internationally termed as ‘aero-medical evacuation’, was a huge challenge as the patient was dependent on oxygen support and a bed. Organization of that was a joint effort that called for understanding, cooperation and collaboration of the family, healthcare professionals, airlines and the embassy,” explains Dr. Balamurali, Head of Department of Spine Surgery, Kauvery Hospital Chennai & Managing Director of HAMSA Spine & Brain Rehabilitation Centre.
Dr. Ilango, an American Board Certified (BC) Physician from Chennai, was requested to fly to the United States to assess the patient, and supervise the transfer to India, with a paramedical team constantly in attendance. “There were several challenges in the organization of her travel from Dallas to Chennai via Doha. The transfer to the airport, the check-in process, clearance through security and boarding the aircraft were all done with her on the stretcher, while being continuously monitored by the doctor. The break at Doha for more than 4 hours was assisted by the airport medical team. The entire travel time of almost 20 hours, monitoring and supporting her medically and socially, was a huge risk, considering the criticality of the patient. She was received at Chennai International airport by an experienced, fully briefed and equipped team of Medics and Paramedics from Kauvery Hospital in an ambulance. At the hospital she was stabilized and assessed post the long journey, and then shifted to HAMSA Spine and Brain Rehabilitation Centre,” adds Dr. Balamurali.
The comprehensive rehabilitation of her extensive disabilities calls for a thorough understanding by the patient, the family and us for her unique set of problems. It also calls for defining of our joint goals, objectives and methods, to address them. A suitable environment, modern facilities and an experienced team are essential. HAMSA has specialists with expertise and experience in medical therapy, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy. She would be supported and encouraged by psychologists and counselors, peer mentors, nutritionists and vocational trainers.
“Kauvery Hospitals are preferred destinations for affordable and exceptional healthcare, owing to the infrastructure, expertise and the cost effectiveness compared to hospitals in western countries. In Tamil Nadu, there are very few centers exclusively for rehabilitation. As seasoned professionals in providing that very essential service we are seeing a growing need for rehab-care and related therapies for patients who are distressed and disabled by different diseases and injuries that damage the brain and spine. We are doing our best to make people aware and take advantage of recent advances in rehabilitation and related therapies, in order to regain and enjoy the quality of their life,” explains Dr. Balamurali.
Speaking on the great challenge that faces this patient, the family and her healers at the hospital and HAMSA, Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Co-founder and Executive Director, Kauvery Hospital Chennai says, “Her recovery can be a gradual but steady process that requires a lot of planning, precision, process and patience. She shall receive strong support, constant encouragement, careful therapy and meticulous overview by a talented team of neurologists, neurosurgeons and physical and medical rehabilitation specialists. Dr.Balamurali, the team of therapists and the family are all confident that, with such support, and in such an environment, she would recover over a period of time. We wish her and the family all the best. We shall be with them on this journey, supporting and sustaining them all the way. Together we shall look at the horizon with optimism. Together we shall be determined in our joint quest to succeed.”
For more information, please visit: www.hamsarehab.com/ta.