Jyotsna & Madhavi (with Dr Agarwal)

COVID-triggered paralysis needs urgent attention

In Mumbai, patients overcome challenges with timely treatment

Guillain-Barré syndrome affects many more organs beyond the lungs, including the brain, the heart, kidneys, and the gastrointestinal tract, say doctors.
MUMBAI, Nov 20 (BNC Network) As COVID has been leading to different health complications, Mumbai reports cases of patients overcoming the challenge of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disease which results in paralysis of limbs due to delays in sending signals through the nerves.
GBS leads to the body’s immune system going in overdrive and starting mistakenly attacking nerves of hands and legs, leading to paralysis of limbs. It usually appears days or weeks after a viral infection which is usually a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection, doctors say.
Dr. Kedar Toraskar of Wockhardt Hospital South Bombay said GBS is a rare neurological complication which is associated with COVID 19 virus and which can be potentially life threatening and may require mechanical ventilatory support. If diagnosed and treated on time with Intravenous immunoglobulin (IV IGg) or plasmapheresis, life threatening complications can be averted. This is a rare neurological complication which can lead to respiratory failure and even death.
This disease affects many more organs beyond the lungs, including the brain, the heart, kidneys, and the gastrointestinal tract.  In India, while case series have not been published yet, the number of post-covid GBS cases may be increasing, said Dr Pankaj Agarwal of Global Hospital.
A Youtuber and Bharatanatyam Dancer Jyotsna Maru, 37, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome after suffering from Covid-19. She was successfully managed by Wockhardt Hospital South Bombay critical care team lead by Dr Kedar Toraskar, Chief of Critical Care, Dr Ravindra Zore, Dr Gaurav Gupta, Dr Bhooshan Gondse and Dr Gurudas Pundpal with Dr. Prashant Makhija, Consultant Neurologist and Dr Honey Savla, Junior Consultant. 
Jyotsna visited Wockhardt Hospital with the complaints of tingling, numbness involving hands and legs along with progressively worsening weakness. Ultimately, she was unable to stand and walk on her own. She tested positive for Covid-19.
During Hospital stay for COVID treatment Jyotsna had complaints of severe backache and difficulty in walking. 
Dr. Makhija, said  With appropriate treatment she has now significantly recovered and is able to walk with minimal support.
Jyotsna was worried if she would be able to perform Bharatanatyam. “I am glad with timely treatment, I am recovering well. I sincerely thank team of doctors at the Wockhardt Hospital who always motivated me and supported me with proper care and treatment,” she said.
Madhavi Dhariya, a 49-year-old resident of Mahad, Raigad was infected with Coronavirus. The patient and her husband were treated at home and had mild symptoms that recovered soon. Three weeks later, she started experiencing backache and consulted an orthopaedic surgeon who gave her medication. A few days day later, she had paralysis of one side her of face, and clumsiness of her legs with difficulty walking. Her family doctor suggested taking prompt treatment. Hence, the patient was referred to Global Hospital Mumbai. 
A team led by Dr. Pankaj Agarwal, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Head - Movement Disorders Clinic and In-Charge, DBS programme, Global Hospital, Mumbai, saved the patient with timely diagnosis and immune-modulatory treatment (standard 5-day injection course of immunoglobulins). 
“The patient came to the Emergency in a wheelchair with difficulty walking, facial weakness for three days, left lower limb clumsiness and slurred speech. She couldn’t walk or form a grip with her hands and even needed help to remove her face mask.  Based on the history and examination, a clinical neurological diagnosis of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) was made, that was later confirmed with tests including a nerve conduction study and lumbar puncture,” said Dr Agarwal.
Dr. Vivek Talaulikar, CEO- Global Hospital, Mumbai said, “Involvement of lungs by the SARS-COV-2 virus is commonly known, one of the more insidious ways the virus affects the human body is the effect on the brain. What is important is prompt diagnosis and timely treatment. These days we are noticing an increasing number of patients presenting with neurological and cardiac complaints in our A&E and would advise patients not to neglect and consult their doctor for prompt and immediate management”.
“I had facial paralysis which was one of the side-effects of Covid. Even though my MRI and CT scan was normal, a prompt diagnosis by Dr. Agarwal saved my life. I thank the doctor for helping me walk again as I had almost thought that I would not be able to walk again due to leg weakness. Also, I urge everyone not ignore the early symptoms and seek for doctor’s advice on time so that proper diagnosis can be done. With my personal experience I can say that timely treatment has helped my fast recovery. The post COVID neuro problems are quite common but it is treatable if we reach out to the specialised doctor in time”, said a happy Madhavi.


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