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Fortis doctors save swine flu patient, her foetus

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) Doctors at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI) managed to protect a 24-week foetus from swine flu by treating the would-be mother tested positive for H1N1 virus.

Swapnil Mishra, 30, from Noida was admitted to the hospital with fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath. When her condition worsened and blood oxygen level went extremely low, she was put on ventilator.

As Mishra’s condition continued to deteriorate, Fortis doctors opted for ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, which acts as a heart-lung bypass. It can support and perform functions of lung and heart, separately as well as together.

With the use of ECMO her blood oxygen level started showing improvement. Since she had tested positive for H1N1 virus, we had to treat her with anti-virals like oseltamivir, said Vineeta Goyal, Senior Consultant at FEHI, in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, a gynaecologist too monitored her situation and the health of foetus through repeated ultrasounds. After 15 days, patient was weaned off ECMO and her foetus was alive and thriving, Goyal said.

The ECMO circuit acts as an artificial heart and lung for the patient during ECMO therapy and can be used for patients of all ages.

However, ECMO also involved complications like bleeding, intrauterine foetal death and spontaneous abortion. All this was explained to the family, doctors said.

“This is the first reported case in India of a pregnant swine flu patient where both the mother and the foetus survived. It was a challenging case, fraught with complications and risks,” said Kousar Ali Shah, Zonal Director, at the hospital.

Incidence of swine flu is increasing at an alarming rate in the country. According to the Directorate General of Health Services, so far 1,196 people have been diagnosed with the disease.

H1N1, a self-limiting viral, airborne disease spread from person-to-person through large droplets generated by coughing and sneezing, indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface like phone, computer, door handle, door bell, pens, toys, and close contact (including handshaking, hugging and kissing).

–IANS
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Declaration of poll schedule to expedite candidate selection, alliances

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New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) With the Election Commission announcing the Lok Sabha poll schedule on Sunday, political parties are expected to expedite the process of candidate selection as also that of forming alliances in the next few days.

While the Congress has come with its first list of 15 candidates that includes names of party chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party is yet to come up with its first list, which is expected this week.

The opposition parties in Bihar have not yet announced their grand alliance in the state. There has also been no formal announcement of a tie-up in Jammu and Kashmir as also in West Bengal.

In Delhi, though the ruling Aam Aadmi Party has declared its candidates on most of the seats and Congress has declared its intentions to fight separately, there is still speculation of the possibility of the two parties coming together.

The notification for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls will be made on March 18 and the last date of filing nominations is March 25. The polling of the first phase for 91 seats across 20 states will be held on April 11, almost a month from now.

The political parties are expected to draw out a detailed schedule of campaigning by their top leaders over the next few days as also give final touches to their manifestos.

–IANS
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