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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-42

Anesthetic challenges while performing emergency laparotomy in a patient having COVID-19 infection

Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
S T Karna
Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_790_20

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An elderly hypertensive lady presented with fever, respiratory symptoms, and mild abdominal discomfort and was diagnosed to have COVID-19 pneumonia. Respiratory symptoms improved with steroids, awake proning, high flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy and antibiotics. After 4 days, she developed non-occlusive superior mesenteric artery thrombosis, which initially responded to anticoagulants but was complicated on tenth day by intestinal obstruction necessitating emergency surgery. Challenges encountered perioperatively were multi systemic involvement, pneumonia, ventilation- perfusion mismatch, sepsis along with technical difficulties like fogging of goggles, stuck expiratory valve on anesthesia machine, inaudibility through stethoscope and discomfort due to personal protective equipment. Perioperative focus should be on infection prevention, maintenance of hemodynamics, and optimization of oxygenation with preoperative high flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy. Ultrasound lung helps in correct placement of endotracheal tube. We recommend daily machine check, taping of N95 mask to face and ambient operation theatre temperatures of 20-22°C to reduce technical problems.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow