Delaying treatment due to the pandemic can worsen the outcome
Mumbai: A 60-year-old man Mr. Pankaj Shah (Name changed) from Chembur ignored his diabetes and ended up with uncontrolled diabetes and lower left leg gangrene. The patient underwent multiple debridements with the cleaning of wound with continuous irrigation negative pressure therapy (a special type of dressing) And his leg was saved at Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur. He is scheduled to undergo skin coverage of the affected leg. He’s better and happy now.
Life was smooth until the Mr. Pankaj Shah from Chembur got diabetes for more than 15 Years though sugars were well controlled and were under treatment. During the COVID-19 outbreak, he had a small leg injury which he ignored as he was worried to come out of the house due to fear of COVID. Later about one month after an injury he went to one of the local hospitals where he was advised for amputation (cutting leg to avoid further spread above the knee). The family didn’t agree and was wheeled into emergency at the Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur, Mumbai. The patient was admitted on 7th July 2020 and surgery was performed on 13th July 2020.
Dr. Roy Patankar, Director, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur highlighted, “There are many cases wherein people ignore their health problems due to the fear of contracting COVID infection and land themselves in grave situations that can be even life-threatening. Owing to the pandemic, people are scared to visit the doctor, resort to self-medication, and come in an emergency due to the delay in treatment. Some may also require complex surgeries but this is entirely avoidable if one takes a prompt treatment.”
This patient too neglected his uncontrolled blood sugar levels and came with left lower leg gangrene. It occurs when blood flow to a certain area of your body is interrupted, leading to tissue decay and death. The chances of developing gangrene are higher if one has an underlying condition that can damage the blood vessels and affect blood flow, such as diabetes or hardened arteries (atherosclerosis). The patient was scheduled to undergo treatment for gangrene include surgery to remove dead tissue and salvaged his leg. He is underdressing now and will require another surgery to cover the open wound (skin grafting).”
Dr. Patankar adds, “Video consultation during these unprecedented times can be a good option but in various survival situation it is very important to visit the hospital. It can prevent one’s condition from worsening as it can update the doctor about the person’s health, and will help to determine how serious the condition is. Don’t refrain from visiting the hospital as the COVID-19 protocol is followed. The hospitals are taken measures such as practicing social distancing, wearing PPEs and masks, disinfecting surfaces and equipment, checking temperature, and limiting the number of visitors. Avoid ignoring Non-COVID illnesses and opt for timely treatment that can save your life.”
Mr. Pankaj Shah, the patient says, “Due to the fear of COVID I was avoiding to go to Hospital for the leg injury treatment. Being a diabetic patient, we have to take care of our wound but due to fear of COVID cases, I had delayed in treatment which led to cutting leg to avoid further spread above the knee. I am grateful to Dr for giving me timely treatment and save my leg. I am happy and will soon go for further treatment.”