New Milford resident Neta Awasthi and his wife, Rhicha, stopped by Danbury Hospital about two weeks ago for a reunion with some very important people in their lives: the medical team, which saved him from the ravages of a rapidly developing critical condition.
“I firmly believe the fast actions and teamwork of all the doctors, nurses and so many others who were involved in my care, ultimately saved my life,” Awasthi said.
On June 3, he was rushed to the Danbury Hospital emergency department immediately after an office visit with his primary care physician resulted in a diagnosis of pneumonia. Once at the hospital, a chest X-ray revealed he was suffering from a severe case of bilateral pneumonia and rapidly developed adult respiratory distress syndrome, a critical condition resulting in abnormally low oxygen levels in the blood, typically leading to multisystem organ failure and death. Awasthi was admitted to the intensive care unit.
While in the ICU, despite all available treatments, Awasthi suffered two cardiac arrests and his condition was progressively worsening. “We were unable to ventilate and oxygenate him,” said Sakshi Sethi, pulmonary physician and critical care attending.
After consultation with Eugene Fernandes, a cardiothoracic surgeon with the Western Connecticut Medical Group, it was decided the best option would be to place Awasthi on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a bedside heart-lung machine that takes over the functions of the heart and lungs thus providing both cardiac and respiratory support.
The following morning after determining Awasthi was stable and responding to commands, he was transferred to Montefiore Medical Center where he spent four more weeks.