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Apollo Hospitals, Chennai gives a new lease of life to a 17-year-old patient by performing Plasma Exchange and a live donor liver transplant.

23 May 2018

Apollo Hospitals gives a news lease of life to a 17 year old school student from Vizhupuram who had ingested Rat kill poison in a suicide attempt. Dr. Joy Varghese, Hepatologist and Liver transplant Surgeon and team acted instantly and saved the boy by performing Plasma Exchange and live donor liver transplant.

In Tamil Nadu, as many as 25 per cent of all deaths in 15 - 39 years age group are caused due to self-harm according to a report published by the Indian Council for Medical Research and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In rural regions, poisoning accounts for four in 10 suicides due to swallowing of pesticides. The suicide rate is high in villages as the country has a large agriculture sector and 60 per cent of its population depends on farming for earning livelihood. Many Indian farmers keep their pesticide supply within easy access, for example by storing it in the family home. Pesticide ingestion is one of the most common methods of suicide.

Most of the hospitals and healthcare centers have reported to have attended to emergency cases of Rat kill poison ingestion. In one such similar incidence, Mr. Ram (name changed), a class XI student from Vizhupuram was brought to Apollo Hospitals Chennai in an unconscious and confused state with symptoms of poison ingestion. The patient started to show symptoms only after four days since he consumed the poison and was brought to the hospital asnan emergency. The emergency specialist team put him on ventilator & transferred to liver ICU immediately.

Dr. Joy Varghese, Hepatologist, Liver Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals Chennai, said "Patient Ram (name changed) was in need of emergency liver transplantation due to acute liver failure and was directed for Plasma exchange to reduce the toxic level of poison. This was performed for 3 to 4 hours for initial stabilization since his liver was completely damaged. Liver transplant was the only way out and his mother donated 40% of her liver to save him. After a 10- hour transplant procedure, the patient was saved."

He also added, "Rat poison contains multiple chemicals that work together to kill rodents; however, these substances are also lethal to humans, if ingested. The amount of time it takes for symptoms to appear depends upon the amount of rat poison ingested and the number of days it is ingested. One of the many rat poison effects on humans, appears in the form of liver failure. It may also lead to coma, which happens due to encephalopathy. Any build-up of toxins in the brain may result in brain damage and lead to serious consequences. It can cause difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest and cough. Some people also develop pulmonary edema along with irregular heartbeat, cardiomyopathy and weakening of the heart muscles. It reduces the blood clotting property, resulting in blood oozing out from all part of the body and damaging organs, especially the liver."