Man develops breathing problems due to prolonged ventilator use

Recently, a man in Pune was having breathing difficulties. The cause of his problem was that he was on a ventilator for a prolonged time, when he was hospitalised from dengue. In around 2 per cent of cases who go for prolonged ventilation, they land up having breathing related issues

MAn develops breathing problems due to prolonged ventilator use

  • A 32-year-old man from Pune was diagnosed with dengue and ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and was intubated and was on ventilator for almost two weeks.
  • This landed him in developing a rare condition, when he started having breathing problem. He was unable to breathe and started getting chocked.
  • He was running from pillar to post to diagnose to know what diseases he was suffering from.
  • At last, he diagnosed with tracheal stenosis, a condition which develops when a patient is put on ventilator for longer time.

Ramesh Sutar’s condition was severe he had dengue and was put on a ventilator for more than two weeks, in October last year. When he was discharged from the hospital, he started facing difficulty in breathing. Even after, going back to the doctor and getting a nebulizer, it did not help him breathe normally.

Man develops breathing problems due to prolonged ventilator use
Ramesh Sutar

He then visited different doctors but many failed to diagnose it correctly and his problem remained unsolved.

Dr Ravindra Sardesai, an ENT surgeon at Jehangir hospital in Pune, who helped diagnose him, he said, “When he first came to me, he was breathing noisily and showed symptoms of slow strangulation. If he had not been able to breathe, for say, around three minutes he would have died.”

Man develops breathing problems due to prolonged ventilator use
Dr Ravindra Sardesai

He added, “Many a time’s not just patients but even doctors are not aware that prolonged ventilation can cause a patient to having breathing difficulties. In around 2 per cent of cases who go for prolonged ventilation, they land up having breathing related issues.”

Sardesai performed a tracheotomy on him, without anaesthesia as there was no space to administer it in his throat. “Post-surgery, he was able to breathe but could not speak as air could not pass through the blocked pipe. To help him speak, we had put in a silicon T Tube.”

Dr Rahul Telang, an ENT surgeon at Sassoon hospital in Pune, said, “It is an uncommon condition, which is difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. It requires specialised handling. It is also a condition that physicians cannot detect easily. If ventilator care is not good then it can happen. In this case, it is like prevention is better than cure. Because, the treatment is not available everywhere and if not treated well it affects the quality of life of a patient, as the patient suffers from breathing problems.”