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Man whose stomach, spleen were pushed into chest cavity lives

Shamiuddin, 28, was lucky that major blood vessels or the heart and lungs did not rupture

By Rith Basu in Calcutta
  • Published 1.02.19, 2:25 AM
  • Updated 1.02.19, 4:59 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Sheikh Shamiuddin Telegraph picture

A man whose abdominal organs had been pushed up to his chest cavity causing the heart to shift right and the left lung to collapse after a road accident is ready to return home.

Sheikh Shamiuddin, 28, was lucky that major blood vessels or the heart and lungs did not rupture despite the abdominal organs moving up, doctors said.

Doctors at Ruby General Hospital were able to push back the spleen, stomach and large intestine into the abdominal cavity after a “tricky anaesthesia” as the patient was breathing on one lung.

But a three-hour surgery and a fortnight on, Shamiuddin is ready to return home to Hooghly.

Shamiuddin was seated beside his brother Akimuddin, 24, who was at the wheel of a Mahindra Scorpio, when his brother dozed off and rammed into a parked vehicle on Durgapur Expressway on January 19.

Shamiuddin, who was not wearing a seat belt, was hurled against the dashboard on impact. His brother escaped unhurt while Shamiuddin’s wife and mother, who were seated behind, suffered facial injuries and fractures.

“I, too, had dozed off. But I remember turning towards the door as my eyes had opened seconds before the crash,” Shamiuddin said on Thursday.

“I did not feel any pain initially but after an hour or so it started and it was unbearable.”

Shamiuddin is a ground handling staff with Air India at Delhi and was home for vacation.

Shamiuddin’s diaphragm, the muscular wall that separates the abdomen and chest, got ruptured and the spleen, stomach and colon slipped through the gap into the chest cavity, doctors said.

The pain started late because the organs did not move all at once but slowly.

Shamiuddin said he was perplexed when the pain increased because there were no external abdominal injuries. “I kept lifting my vest to check if I was bleeding from the stomach.”

The accident happened around 4.30pm on a Saturday and doctors at a district hospital where he was taken could not diagnose why he was under such pain.

Around 6.30pm the next day, when he reached Ruby hospital, X-rays and CT scans revealed the organs had moved up.

“The patient was in excruciating pain when we received him. He was gasping. Investigations revealed the heart had been pushed to the right of the chest and the left lung had been reduced to 20 per cent of its size,” Susenjit Prasad Mahata who — along with surgeon Sougata Deb, cardiothoracic surgeon Sankyadip Pramanik and anaesthetist Dwaipayan Jha — operated on him said.

“We will ask him to stay away from physical labour for six months or so but after that he should be able to lead a normal life,” Mahata said.

He said a heart chamber could be easily ruptured because of the increased pressure from the abdominal organs, in which case he would have bled to death instantly.

The lungs could have ruptured, too, leading to instant death. “He was lucky the left lung got compressed but there was no tear,” Mahata said.

His age, general fitness and ability to withstand pain went in his favour despite delayed diagnosis and intervention.