The miraculous survival of Supratim Dutta, who was pierced with a two-inch-wide and five-foot-long iron rod through his chest, has become a stunner worldwide with a UK-based medical journal and the 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not' evincing interest to highlight his case.
Doctors at AIIMS, where the 23-year-old underwent a complicated surgery, are preparing a case study on Dutta for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. They have also provided supporting photographs and transcripts for the 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not' show and the journal.
"His case is unique and was a challenge to the anaesthetist fraternity here," said Subir Das, a senior resident doctor with the department of anaesthesia, AIIMS trauma centre.
Das was the first to attend to Dutta at the hospital, where he was brought on July 12 with an iron-bar projecting out from the anterior and posterior chest walls respectively.
Dutta was in excruciating pain with blood oozing out from both the entry and exit wound. However, he survived all odds and is finally recovering, Das said.
Another well-known anaesthetist, A K Sethy of Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, said, "Such cases are difficult. It is the job of the anaesthetist to make him fit to undergo a surgery.
The anaesthesia should be able to relieve him from the pain."
"He could be operated upon only after he was relieved from the pain and relaxed. In Dutta's case, administering anaesthesia was a tough task. He was administered anaesthesia in a sitting position. We have been taught to administer anaesthesia after making the patient lie down," Das said.
"Anaesthesia is always given after laying the patient completely or in a semi-seated state. In a completely seated state it is a difficult job," K J Choudhary, anaesthetist at the Apollo Hospital, said.
Dutta had all odds against him. At first doctors had to resuscitate him before administering anaesthesia.
"He had ample blood loss. We had to see that there was no shortage of blood supply to the heart and the brain so that neither starts dying. As such he was given ample intravenous fluid." said Subir, the physician attending him.
Then followed induction and intubation. Here doctors try to make the patient sleep and relax. It is done by administering drugs.
"But all in the seated state. He was loosing consciousness. We had to take control over his vital organs. We kept tab that the blood did not pool in the leg and also we had to conduct intubation simultaneously to carry on artificial breathing. Normally, all these process done till date is carried out after making the patient lie down."
During the whole process of intubation, induction and positioning, we took help of multiple assistants to maintain position of the neck and head to support the weight of the body keeping the long iron bar static in its position.
Anaesthetist Choudhary too said this was the first operation of its kind in India.
"To facilitate intubation of the trachea we had to reach above his head level which was five and half feet from the ground. We had to stand on multiple foot stools to do so," recalled Subir.