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A 23-year-old pregnant woman, who was suffering from swine flu was successfully saved after delivering a healthy baby using artificial heart lung machine at a city hospital in Thane.

Reshma Riyaz Shaikh, who is a resident of Rabodi had suddenly fallen ill during the seventh month of her pregnancy. As her condition started worsening, she was shifted to city’s Horizon hospital in the 31st week of her pregnancy, where she was tested positive for H1N1 (swine flu) virus.

However, during the same time, while on ventilator she was in a labour pain, and Dr Shailendra Jadhav and Dr Jayshree Talele of Horizon had to perform cesarean operation on her. But after the delivery of the child, since oxygen level in her body was already at critical mark, her condition started deteriorating. Following which the hospital authority decided to put her on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which purifies the blood by mixing oxygen in it, giving relief to infected lungs, and saved Reshma’s life.

Reshma was kept on a ECMO for four days and after a week long treatment she is now fully recovered.

So far, Horizon is the only hospital in the city that has the ECMO machine available.

“It was important for us to save the life of both the mother and child. The team of experts in the hospital were ready for that, and with the help of ECMO machine we could save them successfully”, said Dr Hrishikesh Vaidya, Medical Director of Horizon Hospital, adding that the women is now going home after a week long treatment.

Vidya also said that people should not fear if they are infected with H1N1 as various treatments are available. If the infection is detected in time the patient could recover from it.

Swine flu affected pregnant women can rapidly develop a hemodynamics (blood pressure, pulse rate etc) imbalance, which acutely affects lung function and facilitates the development of pneumonia, acute pulmonary oedema (flooding of lungs with water) and other serious respiratory illnesses.

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