Siachen survivor in critical condition

New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) The condition of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, rescued from the Siachen glacier after six days of being buried under ice, has deteriorated, army doctors said on Wednesday.

More than a day after the soldier was admitted here, the Army Research and Referral Hospital said on Wednesday evening that his condition had worsened “despite aggressive therapy and supportive care”.

Koppad was found from under 35 feet of ice at an avalanche-hit army post in the Siachen glacier in Jammu and Kashmir — six days after he and nine other soldiers were buried. The bodies of the other nine have been found.

“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,” a medical bulletin said.

“His multi-organ dysfunction state continues unabated. His condition has deteriorated despite aggressive therapy and supportive care.”

Koppad is on ventilator in the ICU at the hospital, where he was admitted on Tuesday.

An earlier bulletin said the soldier “continues to battle the odds”.

“… his medical condition remains very critical… The medical team … is treating him with best expertise and resources available in the world.”

Doctors treating the soldier, whose survival is being seen as a miracle, include top critical care specialists, head of the department of medicine, senior nephrologists and neurologists from the army hospital as well as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Asked how he survived the hostile weather for six long days, a doctor from the army hospital said they have no account of what exactly happened.

“Only when Lance Naik Koppad gains consciousness we will be able to get an account of how he managed to survive,” the doctor told IANS.

Koppad and the other soldiers were hit by the avalanche at an altitude of around 20,500 feet.

He was found miraculously alive just when the rescuers were beginning to lose hope.

The soldier was found conscious but drowsy and disoriented. He was also severely dehydrated and in shock.

He had pneumonia and was suffering from liver and kidney dysfunction. But there was no cold exposure related frost bite or bone injuries.

Koppad’s family from Karnataka, including his wife, are staying in the hospital complex, praying — like millions across the country — for his recovery.

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