Tamil Nadu Hospitals Use Plasma Exchange to Save 825 Patients from Rat Poison Liver Failure

Tamil Nadu's plasma exchange treatment saves 825 lives of patients with rodenticide-induced liver failure, offering a cost-effective solution to a critical public health issue.

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Tamil Nadu Hospitals Use Plasma Exchange to Save 825 Patients from Rat Poison Liver Failure

Tamil Nadu Hospitals Use Plasma Exchange to Save 825 Patients from Rat Poison Liver Failure

In a remarkable medical achievement, government hospitals in Tamil Nadu have successfully treated 1,237 patients suffering from acute liver injury and failure caused by ingestion of rat poison containing yellow phosphorus. Using plasma exchange treatment, doctors were able to save the lives of 825 patients, achieving a survival rate of 63.9% in 2022-2023 across 17 hospitals in 15 districts.

The plasma exchange treatment involves removing and replacing the patient's plasma, which helps dampen the overactive immune responses that lead to liver failure in these cases. This simpler and more affordable option compared to liver transplantation has proven to be a lifesaving intervention for patients who often lack access to advanced medical facilities and resources.

Why this matters: The success of Tamil Nadu's plasma exchange program for rodenticide-induced liver failure offers hope for saving lives in a region where rat poison ingestion is a significant public health issue. This cost-effective treatment can be replicated in other areas facing similar challenges, potentially reducing mortality rates and improving patient outcomes.

The Tamil Nadu government launched the plasma exchange program in March 2022, building on the success of a pilot study conducted at Madras Medical College and the pioneering work of researchers at Christian Medical College, Vellore. By expanding access to this treatment across multiple government hospitals, the state has demonstrated its commitment to addressing this critical health problem and saving lives.

Dr. Ashish Goel, a professor of hepatology at Christian Medical College, Vellore, emphasized the significance of the program, stating, "The plasma exchange treatment has been a transformative solution for patients suffering from acute liver failure due to rat poison ingestion. It offers a ray of hope for those who would otherwise face a grim prognosis."

The Tamil Nadu government's successful implementation of the plasma exchange program serves as a model for other states and regions grappling with similar public health challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • Tamil Nadu govt. hospitals treated 1,237 patients with acute liver injury from rat poison.
  • Plasma exchange treatment saved 825 lives, achieving a 63.9% survival rate in 2022-2023.
  • Plasma exchange is a simpler, more affordable alternative to liver transplantation.
  • The program's success offers hope for replicating this cost-effective treatment in other regions.
  • Tamil Nadu's plasma exchange program serves as a model for addressing public health challenges.