A Rare Case of Gas Gangrene Survival
Mr Tariq Khusrou, a middle-aged businessman from Dubai underwent a hair transplant at a salon in Hyderabad. He was cautioned about some mild rash on the forehead, which he need not worry about. But the rash spread over the forehead, face and was moving down the neck.
Within 3 days, he was admitted to CARE Banjara ICU under the Critical Care team led by Dr Venkat Raman Kola. He was diagnosed with ‘gas gangrene’, a life-threatening condition in which gangrene develops and amputation is the only solution. Gas gangrene is rarely reported and has a mortality rate close to 100%. Here, amputation was not a choice as the affected area was the face and the neck. He also had a compromised airway. His airway was secured with an emergency tracheostomy. Repeated debridement and procedures were done by the Plastic Surgery Department, led by Dr Gnaneswar. High dose antimicrobials, organ support and team work for eight weeks helped the patient to survive. Dr Soma Raju, CMD, was the guiding force in providing multi departmental inputs, even from external organizations such as LV Prasad Eye Institute for orbital tissue management.
This was an example of the high standard of teamwork by the CARE Critical Care team. At one point, it was touch and go. But finally, Mr Khusrou began to respond to treatment. His son wrote a long, eloquent letter to the hospital about the experience and the family’s joy and gratitude to the CARE doctors. His sister wrote a poem, eulogizing the doctors, and presented it to Dr Venkat and Dr Gnaneswar.
Excerpts of the letter capture the sentiments of the family:
“…Today the word victory calls to our minds names of men like Dr Venkat and Dr Gnaneswar and their entire team of soldiers for emerging victorious in tackling a deadly disease like ‘gas gangrene’. The world of science and medicine hath their victories no less renowned than the victories of war. To conquer a disease and save a life is indeed a renowned victory — far more worth winning than the most famous military triumphs.”
Ode to Dr Venkat and Dr Gnaneswar
Like a shower of fresh blossom, despite all odds victorious you come
With a duty to perform, each human is destined.
Bless’d are those who truly serve mankind.
From dawn till the dark velvet pall, yours is the noblest task of all.
You are a saint in disguise, When to the ailing souls medicines you prescribe.
Moments of joy, hours of grief we did share,
Whenever we needed you, you were always there.
Like an angel from the firmament blue,
For the tormented souls like soothing dew,
Smiling like a flower betwixed the thorns.
A messiah for the poor downtrodden forms.
Simple souls with hearts of gold, No finer men indeed, the world can hold,
Even if we search the whole vast land, With a lantern in our hand,
We cannot hope to find, Someone as strong as you, And yet so gentle and so kind.
An aura of dignity is yours charismatic personality.
In your simplicity lies the real beauty, No appreciation is really worth,
The noble deeds you do,
May the choicest blessings of almighty God shower upon you.
Life is precious indeed, you enhance its aesthetic beauty.
Making the aching hearts an abode of peace and tranquility.
You wipe those tears of pain, And make us smile again.
We pray to God, e’en the breeze that carries a tingle of gloom,
Never shall blow across your room.
Many radiant days, upon you shall dawn,
And smile upon you, the rays of many a lovely morn.
Happiness, joys, ecstasies, all alight upon you together,
And may you live a hundred years, serve the human race forever.
Sameena Khusrou Baig (Mr Khusrou’s sister)