Pune: A 92-year-old has recovered from COVID-19 despite being paralysed by a stroke which also affected her ability to recognise faces.
The woman and three members of her family including her three-and-a-half-year-old great-granddaughter returned home from a city-based private hospital Monday.
According to a doctor from the hospital where the woman was treated, it showed that even elderly can defeat coronavirus.
Use of standard treatment protocol and extra precaution considering her age paid off, said Dr Vijay Natrajan, CEO, Symbiosis Hospital.
Besides measures were also taken to keep secondary infections at bay, Dr Natrajan said.
“For a 92-year-old with a debilitating stroke, the possibility of getting pneumonia is high as their movement is restricted.”
“To avoid pneumonia, we ensured that her sleeping position was changed every two hours,” Dr Natrajan told PTI.
“Following ‘awake proning’ procedure, she was made to sleep on her abdomen and after two hours, the position was changed.”
In the prone position, the person or patient lies flat with the chest down and the back up.
Awake proning is effective for corona patients as it helps lung ventilation and improves oxygenation, said Dr Natrajan.
“We used to make her sleep on abdomen (prone), on her back (supine) and also on both sides,” he explained.
Normally a COVID-19 patient’s sleeping position is changed every six hours. But in the woman’s case, it was brought down to two hours, Dr Natrajan said.
“Since one side of her body was paralysed, there was a risk of bedsores which can lead to other infections.”
Despite the woman’s age and her ailment, her innate immunity seemed to be good, Dr Natrajan added.
The strategy was to prevent rather than treat any complication. She did not require any oxygen support. Multivitamin tablets and normal symptomatic treatment were given as per standard protocol, he said.
The woman’s recovery shows that there is no need to panic if a senior citizen contracts coronavirus, he said.
The common assumption that the infection would always be lethal for a person above 60 should be discarded, he added.
The hospital is treating another woman COVID-19 patient who is 88-year-old and has diabetes and hypertension, he said.