It couldn't save Jayalalithaa, but revived techie's heart function in 24 hours

Updated: Dec 14, 2016, 10:21 IST | mid-day online correspondent

43-year-old Srinath and late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa have nothing in common -- their professions were different, cities too -- but the two have now been linked by a medical procedure that while saving one, couldn't revive the other. Find out here...

ECMO used on Jayalalithaa revived Bangalore techie’s heart function in 24 hours
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43-year-old Srinath and the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa have nothing in common -- their professions were different, cities too -- but the two have now been linked by a medical procedure that while saving one, failed to revive the other.

Srinath, a techie by profession and a resident of Bangalore was diagnosed with myocarditis, and had to be admitted in the ICU recently at Bengaluru's Narayana Hrudayalaya.

Srinath initially suffered from high fever but was eventually diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation in the heart muscle. His heart got affected by a virus that his body contracted during viral fever. Strangely, Srinath was a fitness freak and never had a history of heart disease.

Srinath, who was once fighting between life and death, is now back to normal. So what saved this young techie's life and why are he and Amma linked? It's Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) -- the same procedure that doctors at Chennai's Apollo Hospital used to treat late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, a report published by Times of India stated.

The 68-year-old politician was put on ECMO device for heart and lung support. After suffering a cardiac arrest, Jayalalithaa was kept on assisted breathing at Apollo Hospital. However, she could not survive and passed away on December 5, 2016.

ECMO is used as a life support system in patients who suffer from cardiac arrest. The ECMO machine works by draining out blood from the patient’s body, removing carbon dioxide and pumping oxygen into the red blood cell to revive the heart. It can even support a severely damaged heart. The device is put when a patient does not respond to any otehr treatment. The critical part is to see if the patient's body can function without the machine.

Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, chairman, Manipal Hospitals, said: "ECMO is predominantly used in two critical conditions — when the heart stops functioning, as it happened in Jayalalithaa's case, and when lung function is compromised because of infection, severe pneumonia or injury. However, its awareness is pretty low in India.

The success rate of ECMO depends on how bad the heart’s condition is during the organ’s malfunctioning. The cost of the treatment ranges between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.

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