Pune: Doc uses novel technique, saves COPD patient

Pune doctors used a novel technique to save a 66-year-old resident of the city, suffering from advance Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Timely intervention by modifying the existing technique in a novel way helped him to get a new lease of life


ECMO stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy, which delivers oxygen to the blood is commonly used these days. But, in Pune, doctors used a similar technique like ECMO to reduce carbon dioxide level in the blood. As per doctors, the technique is gaining support in the western countries. While, very few centres in India use this.

These doctors decreased the carbon dioxide level in the patient by using the similar circuit that is used in ECMO. The doctors said that the patient was on high ventilator setting and there was no other treatment that they could have been given to him to save his life. At the critical stage, the doctors saved the patient by using this Extracorporeal Co2 Removal (ECCo2R) technique.

InsertPatients suffering from advance COPD are put on high ventilator setting and that is the last treatment offered to them. The ventilator helps in managing the breathlessness and Carbon Dioxide levels in COPD patients.

In the ECCo2R technique, the blood was taken out. With the help of machines and the carbon dioxide level in the blood was reduced. The blood with reduced Co2 was then pumped back in the body.

Dr Prasad Akole, intensivist at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital Pune, said, “We used maximum ventilation for the patient, but it was still not promising. ECCo2R can be used for patients who are suffering from asthma and COPD and are either on ventilator or on non-invasive ventilator. We can even use this before ventilation and with the help of this method we can avoid ventilation. Also, it is patient friendly method as it is less invasive.”

The team of intensivists – Sameer Jog, Nilesh Mahale and Dr Prasad Rajhan undertook the procedure in the hospital.

Dr Kusrav Bhajan, consultant Critical Care Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, said, “This technique of Co2 removal is practiced in western countries, but very few have attempted it in India. But, in the cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome, where the patient is put on minimum ventilator, the Co2 gets accumulated. In such cases, ECCo2R technique can offer a great help.”

  • Shriram Bapat