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Vikash Sharma

The department of Pediatrics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar achieved a unique feat after it successfully treated a 22-month-old girl from Dhenkanal district who was suffering from ‘Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis’, a rare lung disease.

As per reports, the girl, who became the youngest patient in the country to have undergone the procedure, was tested positive for Covid-19 in June and recovered later. However, the next month she developed fever with difficulty in breathing.

She was initially admitted to various hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar before finally shifted to the Pediatrics Department at AIIMS Bhubaneswar. She was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) as she was facing problems in breathing with a high requirement of oxygen.

Officials at the AIIMS Bhubaneswar said that after certain investigations, it was found that the girl was suffering from Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis, a rare disease in which milk-like substances get deposited in both the lungs.

As a result, it creates problems for the child to cough out. “The only available treatment for this disease involves washing both the lungs with saline, which is technically challenging in such a sick child.

So, an expert team of doctors was formed, and the group decided to conduct the lung washing (whole lung lavage) by putting the child on ECMO support (artificial lungs)” said AIIMS Bhubaneswar in a release.

A multi-discipline team of doctors drawn from the Department of Pediatrics -Dr Krishna Mohan Gulla, Dr Rashmi Ranjan Das, Dr Amit Kumar Satapathy, Anaesthesia (Dr Satyajit Mishra, Dr Bikram Kishore Behera), Cardio-thoracic Surgery (Dr Sidharth Kumar Sathia, Dr Satyapriya Mohanty) and Pediatric Surgery (Dr. Manoj Mohanty and team) decided to go ahead with the procedure.

The team carried out the entire procedure August 30, 2021 following which the girl's condition improved dramatically. Later, she underwent a second such procedure on September 13.

“Today, she was discharged with a small minimal oxygen requirement and will follow up with us. We are thankful to the parents for believing in our team to carry out this arduous procedure,” the AIIMS in a release.

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