Doctors at Gleneagles Global Health City hospital (GGHC) are treating a 32-year-old man with post-COVID-19 lung infection after airlifting him from Lucknow with Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support.

In a statement, the hospital said that though the man recovered from COVID-19, he developed a severe breathing difficulty two weeks later. He was kept on ventilator at a hospital in Lucknow, but his oxygen level was extremely low and the accumulation of carbon dioxide in his blood was alarmingly high.

Further tests revealed his lungs had incurred 75% damage, necessitating either a transplant or ECMO support. The Lucknow hospital reached out to doctors at the GGHC. A decision was made to airlift the patient to Chennai, the statement said.

Doctors from GGHC flew to Lucknow on September 16 and initiated ECMO support. After his condition was stabilised, the patient was shifted the next day in a chartered flight. Meticulous planning was required to keep the travel time to a minimum, the hospital said. This was the first time a patient in the country was airlifted with ECMO support.

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