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VIDEO: A Covid Success Story After 315 Days

After nearly a year in hospital, a patient heads home to celebrate her 53rd birthday.

MADRID, Spain — After spending 315 days in the hospital, a 52-year-old comorbid woman was applauded by medical authorities after recovering from Covid-19 symptoms.

The patient, identified as Elsa, admitted at the Hospital Gregorio Maranon in the Spanish capital Madrid on Apr 7, 2020, with Covid-19 symptoms. The patient was tested positive, which placed her life at risk as she was previously diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer.

“Elsa remained in an ICU for about half of the 315 days she was treated at the center. In the meantime, she suffered several infections and a cerebral stroke,” said a press release from the hospital on Feb. 16. “She was intubated and had to be placed on extracorporeal life support, also known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), for a month to help keep her alive.”

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a machine similar to the heart-lung by-pass machine used in open-heart surgery. It pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest. There are two types of ECMO, the VA ECMO and the VV ECMO.

The video footage shows Elsa’s emotional moment, as she leaves the hospital in a wheelchair. She is applauded out of the hospital as she can be seen very moved by the gesture. She waves at her caretakers in gratitude, finally being able to leave the center after 315 days on Feb. 15.

The hospital staff sings ‘Happy Birthday’ while the woman exits as she was set to celebrate her 53rd birthday from home the day after she left i.e Feb 16.

During these 10 months, Elsa was taken care by over 300 health professionals ranging from nurses, physical therapists, various types of doctors such as psychiatrists, endocrinologists, neurologist and many others.

Elsa was included in a program in the hospital that provides special physical and psychological care to patients who spent prolonged periods in an ICU called the ‘Attention for Post-ICU Covid Patients Program’.

In such programs, professionals such as therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, nutritionists and rehabilitation physicians work together and develop strategies to treat the complications arising from the stay at ICU. Exercise programs towards increasing strength and balance along with good nutrition are recommended and practiced with the patients. Many of the patients recovering from ICU may need to be transferred to inpatient rehabilitation settings.

Elsa was thankful to her caretakers and says she will miss some of her new routines at the center.

(Edited by Pallavi Mehra and Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar.)

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