Dr. Emmanuel Taban is a pulmonologist at Mediclinic in Midstream, he has become well-known for his interesting and different approach in treating COVID-19 patients. The author and doctor detail his life experiences in his book “The Boy Who never gave up” -documents how he left his home country South Sudan and how he became a successful pulmonologist.
Dr. Taban’s novel treatment method involves the removal of mucus from the lungs of COVID-19 patients who are not responding to other interventions and treatments. The lung specialist is named a hero for saving their lives with his distinct use of therapeutic bronchoscopies which has proven to be successful and saved many of the very ill patients.
From a medical perspective, what have you learned from COVID-19 – how should it be treated?
I spent a lot of time researching and learning about COVID-19, I have published two articles -(Observational study of therapeutic bronchoscopy in critical hypoxaemic ventilated patients with COVID-19) that describe how certain patients with COVID-19 develop mucus plugs, and it has been proven that when mucus is removed from the lungs patients survive and are able to breathe on their own.
What is a mucus plug?
It is saliva that is unfortunately found in the lungs and when it gets thick it can block the airwaves and one can struggle to breathe. Mucus that accumulates in the lungs can plug up, reduce airflow in, the larger or smaller airways. In the smallest airways, mucus plugs lead to collapsed air sacs and can cause struggling to breathe.
Blocking the airwaves?
Yes, it blocks the lungs and even when you are on the ventilators you will still struggle to breathe as the oxygen cannot get through -so you have to remove the mucus otherwise patient will die from it.
Is this (therapeutic bronchoscopies) a common technique, to remove the mucus plugs?
Yes, we use what we call bronchoscopy where there is a pipe to suck the mucus then we pass it. Most patients can be taken off the life support machine.
What sustained you?
My determination and when you have nothing to lose but everything to gain so I found myself with nothing but I have myself and every step I take is all on me.
The doctor was determined to be successful as he came from humble beginnings and he didn’t accept that his life will not change. He was determined to seek a better life and he fled to South Africa. Education was going to be a game-changer for him. Dr. Taban wants to be the best and a leader pulmonologist, knowledge is key. Knowledge is an ongoing process and I do not want to feel comfortable.
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