We all have heard of golden hours in case of a heart attack. But if it’s a case of a ruptured heart wall, there are only golden seconds involved. Such was the case with Mahadev Rao, a 57-year-old who suffered a massive heart attack that resulted in the rupture of the left ventricular. The condition is rare and the worrying part is that it only has a survival rate of less than 5 percent.
Dr. Tameem Ahmed, Chief Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Specialist Hospital, Bengaluru, along with a team of 7, performed life-saving surgery on Mahadev Rao, giving him a new lease of life.
“It’s a rare complication of myocardial infarction or a heart attack or in which the ventricular wall gets ruptured and t he blood goes out and gets collected outside the heart. Once this happens, it’s within a matter of minutes or seconds that the patient collapses. This patient had come to us with a free wall rupture and was in a circulatory collapse state. His blood pressure wasn’t measurable and he had a very mild pulse rate. His blood PH value had gone down to 6.7 from the normal value of 7.4 which was an extremely critical stage and his situation was close to death,” Ahmed tells you.
Keeping in mind the critical condition of the patient, the doctors decided to go ahead with the surgery without wasting any time. “I had a word with the daughter of the patient, Mahima, who coincidentally was an MBBS student. We informed her about the complications of the surgery and she was informed that there was only a 1 percent chance of survival of the patient. However, she was cooperative. Soon after, we put the patient on a cardiac pulmonary bypass machine. Usually, before such surgeries, we put patients on Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) life support machine but in this case, we immediately took the patient into the operation theatre as we couldn’t afford to waste time,” explains Ahmed. The patient’s chest was cut open and he was put on a heart to lung machine.
The surgery, which had put immense pressure on the doctors and the patient’s family, was performed successfully and soon after, the patient was on his road to recovery.
It’s a no-brainer that such rare surgeries do come with their own set of challenges, however, Dr. Tameem and his team were ready for it.
This is not the first time when Dr. Tameem has performed such rare and life-saving surgeries, he has been doing it for quite a while. Earlier in 2019, Ahmed had performed a rare rheumatic heart surgery, endoscopically, on a 16-year-old girl, Ruma Praveen.
While heart attacks have become common ever since the pandemic hit the world, this particular rare case doesn’t have anything to do with COVID.
“It’s true that COVID is affecting the hearts and this patient had recovered from COVID sometime back but there is no evidence to prove that this rare complication has anything to do with COVID-19. There are no set causes for such complications and these are very rare,” says Ahmed.
He adds that in order to prevent heart attacks one should include physical exercises in their routine and avoid stress as much as possible. “The sedentary lifestyle has definitely added to the increased incidences of heart attacks even in young people. People as young as 28 years are succumbing to heart attacks. Also, in younger patients, the severity of heart attacks is more. The only way to prevent heart attacks is to start exercising and say goodbye to stress. If your work doesn’t let you do that, draw the boundary between work and personal life, take some time out for you, talk to your family and avoid stress,” advises Ahmed.
Look out for these signs
- Chest pain
- Uneasiness and a feeling of pressure on the chest
- Pain in arms
“If you experience any of the symptoms, it’s imperative that you get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible. While there can be other causes too behind these symptoms, however, you should not eliminate the possibility of a heart attack. Also, people above 40 should keep close to their doctors and keep a track of their health,” adds Ahmed.