A family vacation in the Cayman Islands turned into a life or death situation for Surjeet Kaur when an unexpected viral infection became a critical health emergency.
Advanced life support technology at Health City Cayman Islands, saved her life. Health City in East End, is the only medical centre in the Caribbean region offering the life-saving service, called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
A stomach virus resulted in myocarditis for Mrs. Kaur, who was visiting her son in Cayman from India. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle caused by various infections or drug toxicity. In severe cases this can lead to heart failure and death.
Mrs. Kaur was ill for five days with the viral illness, and initially on admission to a local primary care hospital her organs were showing good functionality. However, her condition deteriorated quickly less than 24 hours later.
Her son, Simranjit Singh, who works in the Cayman Islands, received a call from the hospital at 2 a.m. saying his mother was in critical condition.
Rushed by ambulance to Health City Cayman Islands, Mrs. Kaur was placed on ECMO life support, which allowed her heart to heal so she could recover.
By this time her blood pressure was dangerously low and other organs, especially her kidney and liver, started showing signs of failure. Her failing heart would not have sustained her without life support.
Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, chief cardiac surgeon and director said: “We chose ECMO as it is less complicated and quick to institute. With informed consent from her husband and family, ECMO was instituted through a vein in the groin.
“She required very intense monitoring and treatment in the ICU for next few days, but the heart slowly and steadily showed signs of improvement and she was taken off ECMO. An echocardiogram showed that the heart had recovered completely without any signs of damage. She went home with a strong and healthy heart and functional organs.”
Mr. Singh reported with great relief that his mother responded well to ECMO treatment. “The treatment was successful. After 48 to 60 hours, she was out of danger. We were very thankful that she survived the treatment,” he said.
Mr. Singh added: “We as a family want to thank Health City and all of the doctors here. Along with the doctors, we want to thank the finance and admin team, as well as the hospitality staff. They have been tremendous this last two weeks.
“I have never seen such compassion and hospitality anywhere in the world as I have seen at Health City, so from the bottom of our hearts we wanted to thank Health City and all the staff for cooperating with us and giving us support at the time that we needed it.”
In addition to Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, the ECMO team at Health City Cayman Islands includes cardiac surgeon Dr. Sumit Modi; Dr. Dhruva Krishnan and his team of anesthesiologists and intensivists; perfusion scientists Lessley Christudos and Ravindra Deshpande; and Mevin Varghese and his team of Intensive Care Unit nurses.