Doctors Bashanta Panta and Takaomi Tahira (from Japan), along with Indian engineer Vipin Tyagi just performed the first chest pacemaker implant in the rocky (both geographically and politically) nation of Nepal. Unfortunately, the spinal cord injury that generated the need for the device came from a police beating during the recent political unrest…
[Bishnu] Maharjan, 37, sustained serious injuries on his neck damaging the backbone, in an attack by police at Kalanki on April 17. The injury resulted in dysfunction of the body below his neck. Ever since he was injured, he is breathing with the support of the ventilator, an artificial respiratory machine.
Dr. Panta said that when the lungs are unable to work, the pacemaker helps them function naturally. “When Maharjan starts breathing, we can remove the ventilators,”said Dr. Panta.
He, however, stated that there was no guarantee that Maharjan would regain his health as his was an exceptionally critical case. “There is no treatment for such patients in medical science besides normalisation of breathing,”added Dr. Panta.
“We cannot keep the patient in ICU lifelong with the help of ventilator,”said Dr. Sambhu Upadhyaya.
Dr. Bharat Pradhan, Director of the Hospital, said that the device priced at US $ 75,000 in the United States was purchased from India for Rs. 805 thousands. The machine run by a battery works for five to seven years.
Dr. Pradhan informed that the Jana Andolan Primary Treatment Fund has been billing all the costs.
He informed that the Fund generated above Rs. 24.6 million out which more than Rs. 11.4 million had been spent in the treatment of those injured during the movement.
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