87-yr-old woman, her nonagenarian husband defeat Coronavirus

New Delhi: An octogenarian woman in Delhi and her 90-year-old husband suffering from Alzheimer's disease have recovered from COVID-19 and been discharged from hospital. Doctors at the city hospital where the elderly couple were treated said their recovery in the face of a high mortality rate among the older population globally is a ray of hope for other patients.

On May 25, the 87-year-old woman was rushed to the hospital after a hip fracture and was advised immediate hip replacement surgery. Before the surgery, she was tested and found positive for the virus. Following this, her family was tested and her husband was also found positive.

The couple was initially admitted at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital under the supervision of Dr Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant of Respiratory, Critical Care and Sleep Disorder, Institute of Critical Care, of the facility. Their vitals were regularly monitored and initial treatment showed a remarkable improvement in the first 10 days.

As soon as the woman tested negative, Dr Yatinder Kharbanda, senior consultant and orthopaedic surgeon, performed a successful total hip replacement.

"People who are at an advanced age and have multiple comorbidities are the ones under maximum threat of COVID-19 and fatalities due to it. Their immune system gets degraded so much over the years that they become more vulnerable to infectious diseases," he said.

"In this case, the elderly woman was facing a lot of difficulties due to her fractured hip. We put her in traction with heavy bouts of cough and clogged throat. A team of doctors and nurses worked hard to provide medical care," Dr Modi said. The team in the critical care unit was kept on standby in case of emergent complications. "Even though her husband had mild symptoms, given his age and multiple comorbidities, it was important for us to monitor his condition every minute," he added.

Dr Kharbanda said, "In such cases, patients can undergo a lot of trauma and shock which might affect the recovery process." But defying all odds, the couple was discharged from the hospital on June 22.

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