The condition of a soldier who survived for almost a week buried under 35 feet of snow deteriorated on Wednesday evening in spite of the best critical care by doctors at Delhi’s Army Hospital Research & Referral (R&R).
Doctors said the next 24 hours were critical for Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who continued to be comatose and in shock.
“He continues to remain extremely critical with evidence of oxygen deprivation to the brain on CT scan. There is evidence of pneumonia in both lungs and his multi-organ dysfunction state continues unabated,” read a defence ministry statement.
“His condition has deteriorated despite aggressive therapy and supportive care.”
A panel of experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) visited Koppad at the hospital on Wednesday to review his medical condition and was satisfied with the line of treatment.
He was flown to Delhi’s R&R Hospital after being pulled out by army rescuers at Jammu and Kashmir’s Siachen Glacier on February 8.
Koppad survived because he was trapped with an air pocket around him, which trapped air and body heat. Asphyxiation from lack of air is the most common cause of death for people trapped under an avalanche.
He was pulled out in a conscious but drowsy and disoriented state. He was also severely dehydrated, and had low glucose and oxygen levels. He, however, did not suffer a frost bite or bony injuries.
The critical team taking care of Koppad comprises three anaesthesia experts, and experts from the department of nephrology, cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, medicine and surgery.
The doctors in the rescue team resuscitated him with intravenous fluids, humidified warm oxygen and passive external re-warming.