Comprehensive Update on Swami’s Health


By Dr. A. N. Safaya


This was recorded at the Super Speciality Hospital
on April 5, 2011 at 14:00 (IST) by the Radio Sai team




Here is the transcript of the above video:

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was admitted to this Hospital (Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram) on March 28, 2011 with the complaint of slowing down of heart and intermittent cardiac block. He was immediately rushed to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab (Cath Lab) of this Hospital along with the doctors and was given a pacemaker; an angiography study of the heart was also done.

After the procedures were completed, He was admitted into the ICU and was watched carefully by a panel of doctors of this Hospital. Later in the day, He started developing slightly lower blood pressure which was persisting to remain low. In order to bring up the blood pressure, an Intra Aortic Balloon (IABP) was fitted up into Him in the Cath Lab again where He was shifted to. In the Cath Lab, Swami tolerated the balloon very well, the blood pressure and His cardiac condition improved remarkably. He was taken back to the intensive care after this and closely watched by the panel of doctors.

By this time, the Hospital’s panel of doctors wanted some help from outside and specialists from Bangalore were flown in to help and guide them. So this continued, and soon the intra aortic balloon was removed. Swami was progressing well but His basic muscular weakness and lack of effort on His part to throw out the sputum led us to the only way of putting the tube into His wind pipe so that through that tube we could suck the secretions which accumulate in the lungs. If we allow these secretions to accumulate in the lungs, chances of infection and pneumonia in the lungs develop rapidly which adversely affect the life of the patient. In order to avoid that He was intubated and connected to a ventilator to give rest to the lungs.

As the procedure was going on, we discovered that gradually the urine output was also going down giving an indication that the kidneys are also gradually not so effective as they should be, therefore it was necessary to assist the kidneys. Otherwise the toxins in the blood could not be removed; it is the job of the kidneys to remove these toxins - the nitrogen products of metabolism from the body. Therefore dialysis was contemplated and done. After this, it was felt that this dialysis is needed for a longer period because kidneys did not show immediate response. As a result, we started a process of dialysis which is now put into practice by most of the advanced centres of intensive care and is known as CRRT.

This machine does a very slow dialysis continuously for longer time. So in that way it differs from the hemodialysis which Swami has undergone earlier. In order to let the kidneys revive completely it was necessary to put on this device on which He was functioning till today morning when again hemodialysis was done because it was felt that the toxins were not being completely removed by this slow dialysis process. We did a hemodialysis with intervention of certain filters and discs through which the blood was passing through and the result was that the toxins were removed quite a bit and these discs also have impregnated antibiotics which are specific for the type of infections that such patients develop, and this type of dialysis showed quite good results in the sense that the lung infection cleared quite a bit and His conscious level improved.

In the morning today, He was quite responsive to outside stimuli. Because of the tube in the mouth and tubes around He could not talk of course but He was nodding His head, responding to our queries. So this was a very good development and the doctors felt encouraged. That is the condition now; He is currently in pretty stable condition, with stable blood pressure, stable respiration rate, blood-gas analysis - the status of oxygenation of the body is also very good and maintained, and the level of electrolytes - sodium, potassium, etc. is also fairly well. Therefore we have hope that the crises will be tided over. Although I would say that Swami still continues to be in a critical state of health.

So the efforts of the doctors are going on and shall go on and He is being constantly - every second - being watched and monitored by the doctors and the machines. There is no question of any let down in that respect.

A team of senior and reputed doctors from this Hospital is working on Him. It consists of:

1) Dr. P. K. Dash
2) Dr. R. Iyer
3) Dr. Neelam Desai

They are assisted by Dr. Prakash Nair, Dr. Shinde and Dr. Rita.

Dr. Krishna Das and his team consisting of Dr. Rajan Anand, Dr. Patnaik and Dr. Ranga are doing a wonderful round the clock job of watching over the conditions of Swami in the intensive care unit. The other doctor involved is Dr. K. S. R. K. Prasad from the Department of Ophthalmology.

Besides this, a large of number of about 14 to 15 doctors from outside have been consulted, who have been either flown-in or have come by car to this place. I would like to particularly mention the following:

1) Dr. P. Venugopal, the former Director of AIIMS, New Delhi and a famous cardio-thorasic surgeon of the country
2) Dr. Ashok Seth, a famous cardiologist of the country from Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi
3) Dr. Sandeep Dewan also from Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi, who is very well known intensive care specialist
4) Dr. Amit Verma again from Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi
5) Dr. Subash Chandra from the Department of Cardiology, Manipal Hospital, Bangalore
6) Dr. Uday Muthani, Nephrologist in the Parkinsons Foundation, Bangalore
7) Dr. Ravi Mehta, Intensivist of the Fortis Hospital, Bangalore
8) Dr. Arun, Nephrologist, Vaidehi Institute of Higher Medical Sciences & Mallya Hospital, Bangalore
9) Dr. Kishore Babu, Nephrologist of Vaidehi Institute of Higher Medical Sciences & Mallya Hospital, Bangalore
10) Dr. Mudgil, Gastroenterologist from UK
11) Dr. Narendra Reddy, Endocrinologist from California, USA

This is the panel of doctors from outside who are being consulted by our native doctors team who are working round the clock - every minute and every second - for the love of Swami.

At this point I should mention that we are grateful to the Government of Andhra Pradesh for sending a team of doctors – four specialists headed by the Director of Medical Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh, to look into the treatment of Swami and suggest any improvements which they think could be incorporated in the overall treatment. In fact, it was Dr. Ravi Raju, the Director of Medical Education who suggested that it is better to put Swami on the CRRT and that suggestion was immediately incorporated in the process of the treatment of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

We are also grateful to them to keep a Liaison Officer over here, Dr. Ashok Kumar who is collaborating with our doctors and transmitting information, minute-to-minute, event-to-event, to the Director of Medical Education and receiving valuable guidance from him which our doctors are looking into; this is very helpful. This is very welcome gesture on their part.

While all this is going on, Swami’s illness is a great shock to His devotees and to the doctors of this Institute who are also His devotees plus professionals. The sole reason for not allowing everybody to come into the Hospital is to keep the environmental hygiene of the Hospital perfectly under control. Particularly in the ICU nobody is permitted where the treatment of Bhagawan is being done because the purpose is very sacred, that is, not to increase the medical complications because of infection. We would be very grateful if the public and devotees understand this and not try to pressurize us or trespass into the premises of the Hospital.

In this case I may mention that even the very important persons coming here so as to enquire about the health of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba cannot enter the nearest area of the Intensive Care Unit where Bhagawan is undergoing treatment. We make it possible for them to meet the doctors concerned or the head of the team or myself and they leave the hospital quietly after we have briefed them. This is important from the point of view of infection which can destroy any good work done by the doctors. We all feel proud along with my doctors team to be able to serve Bhagawan in this hour of His critical health.

Prof. G.V.: Do you feel Swami is in a better condition now than when He came to the Hospital?

Dr. A.N.S: Yes, I feel so.

Prof. G.V.: I positively look forward to seeing Him back to normal not in distant future…

Dr. A.N.S: His response since morning is very encouraging and I feel that this would definitely happen.

Prof. G.V.: Thank you.