Doctors in Pune gave a toddler, suffering from rare pneumonia, a fresh lease of life.
Varath (name changed), aged 2.5 years old was suffering from bilateral pneumonia -- a serious infection that can inflame and scar the lungs. He showed symptoms like fever, cold, cough, and difficulty in breathing and was put on a ventilator for more than 150 days.
The X-rays results showed that nearly 80 per cent of his lungs were infected with the virulent bacterium -- Streptococcus pneumoniae.
To drain the air pockets that formed in and outside of his lung tissue, special catheters were inserted, but further treatment was necessary to improve lung function.
Path to recovery
As a precautionary measure doctors at Surya Mother and Child Super Speciality Hospital, Pune put him on a mechanical ventilator which lasted three months.
"Any case of pneumonia can get worse. Varath's case was particularly concerning as prolonged ventilation opened the doors for further complications," Dr Amita Kaul, Senior Consultant Pediatrics & Pediatric Intensive Care at the hospital.
"Our team averted risks and ensured a timely recovery," she added.
After several procedures, including a tracheostomy -- an opening made in the windpipe to help breathe -- and repeated insertions of chest tubes, Varath was finally able to breathe on his own and was discharged from the hospital.
After discharge too, he needed oxygen support and his parents were taught tracheostomy care.
After regular follow-ups, for an additional two months, the tracheostomy tube was removed. Varath is now healthy and able to breathe on his own, the doctors said.
Vaccination is important to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease in children under the age of five. Currently, two vaccines are available - Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV13) and Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).