How a high-risk surgery saved a COVID-19 positive accident victim
New Delhi, May 10: A 19-year-old Covid patient, who was severely injured in a bike-bus collision, was saved from having his hand amputated after doctors at a city hospital here performed a high-risk surgery two days later.
According to a statement by Aakash Healthcare Hospital, Dwarka, Rahul Sapkota was about to get his driver's license on April 5, 2022, when a bus hit him from behind, news agency PTI reported.
The impact was so strong that he fell off his bike and his right hand was crushed by the bus wheel.
He was taken to several hospitals over the course of two days, but no one was willing to operate on him as he tested coronavirus positive. On the third day, he was referred to Aakash Hospital, where doctors saved his life while adhering to all COVID-19 protocol, the health facility said.
Dr Aashish Chaudhry, Director and Head Orthopaedics, Joint Replacement and Spine Surgery said,"While performing an emergency operation on such Covid positive patients, doctors must be very careful so that the infection does not spread to the treating doctor's team, and they must also take care of the medical situation in addition to the surgical difficulties. While caring for this patient, we had to take extra precautions." "Rahul's primary care and dressing were performed in a separate Operation Theatre reserved exclusively for Covid patients. PPE kits were worn by all of the doctors and nurses.
The medical team, in addition to the surgical team, worked as one unit to save the life of the patient," Dr Chaudhry said.
The patient's forearm was badly crushed when he was taken to Aakash Hospital. "Damage was done to the skin, muscles, and tendons. He had already lost more than a litre of blood at the time of the accident, so he needed a blood transfusion," the hospital said in a statement.
A doctor team led by Dr Chaudhry and Dr Bharat Bahre, Additional Director, Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement, cleaned the damaged tissues and applied the dressing as an emergency treatment, it said.
Skin grafting was performed once the tissue had begun to heal and the infection had subsided. A thin layer of skin was taken from the patient's thigh and used to cover the raw area overwound in this treatment.
"Because the blood supply to a distal part of the hand was intact in this case, we were able to manage and save the hand even after two days of injury, which is not a common occurrence.
"We've heard a lot of stories over the last two years about people losing limbs or even their lives because proper and timely treatment could not be provided to patients due to Covid times. However, we were able to save Rahul's life," said Dr Bahre.
The surgery was done on April 7.
Rahul now has a good functional range of hand movement and is currently undergoing regular physiotherapy treatment and has been advised to exercise caution when lifting heavy objects, the statement read.
Road accidents claim the lives of over 1.5 lakh people every year in India. One of the main reasons for this is that they do not receive proper treatment and assistance in a timely manner.
According to Dr Chaudhry , in such cases of road accidents, providing proper first aid is critical and can save lives. "The limbs should be immobilised and supported with braces," he adds. "Bleeding should be controlled with compression dressings, and the wound should be thoroughly washed with antiseptic solution to avoid any further infection spreading."