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Do you drive an automatic car? And do you go on long drives?
If the answer to both questions is yes, here’s an advice: stop after one to two hours to relax your legs, wear comfortable clothes and keep yourself hydrated while driving.
Not doing so may lead to a health scare similar to what happened with 30-year-old Saurabh Sharma from west Delhi.
Sharma nearly died last month when the immobility of his left leg, while driving a luxury automatic car from Delhi to Rishikesh and back, caused a clot in the veins of his leg. It is also referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The clot then travelled to his lungs through the bloodstream causing pulmonary embolism — blockage in one of the arteries of the lungs due to the blood clot — which led to decreased blood flow to the vital organs, including his heart and brain.
Sharma suddenly developed breathing difficulty, became unconscious and collapsed.
Medical examination at a local hospital revealed his blood pressure and pulse rate were so low they couldn’t be recorded, after which he was rushed to Max super-specialty hospital in Shalimar Bagh for suspected cardiac arrest.
There, the doctors managed to revive him after 45 minutes of continuous CPR. Meanwhile, echo conducted while the CPR was still on showed the right chambers of Sharma’s heart were dilated. “He didn’t have any history of heart disease. So we explored further to find the cause of his fatal condition and it was revealed that he suffered from DVT in his left leg, which led to pulmonary embolism,” Dr Naveen Bhamri, director and head of the department of cardiology at Max said.
He added that drugs to dissolve the blood clot were administered in high dosage on immediate basis. “We also administered medications several times the normal dosage to increase his blood pressure. Finally, after 24 hours, Sharma regained consciousness and his blood pressure became stable,” Dr Bhamri said. Due to low BP over a long period, Sharma’s kidneys weren’t functioning properly and he was put on Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy.
“It’s a miracle he survived. His story has a message for people who drive for long hours. They should take regular breaks,” said Dr Yogesh Kumar Chhabra, consultant, nephrology at Max Shalimar Bagh.
“Smokers, obese persons, people who have undergone surgery recently or those suffering from prolonged illnesses are a at higher risk, but it can happen to anyone,” said Dr Devendra Kumar Agarwal, senior consultant, cardiology at Max.
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