The Story of Ms. Noora: Successful Patient Treatment Case

Unconscious liver failure Arabic patient now has a “big smile” on her face after regaining her health back in Korea

She was admitted to Samsung Medical Center through air ambulance to undergo transplant surgery because of fulminant hepatic failure in 2016.

Nothing could be done as there was no eligible donor in her family.

After five days of being admitted to Samsung Medical Center, she opened her eyes miraculously, thanks to the treatment the medical staff provided.

Her liver function recovered and went back to normal.

 

“When I initially opened my eyes, I wondered why I was in a hospital, especially a Korean one. I almost said goodbye to the world while sleeping, but I’m happy that I regained my health.”

Alburushi Noora (female, 38 years old) who came to Samsung Medical Center from Dubai for reconsultation visited a nearby hospital last year. Although she was prescribed with antibiotics etc., she had to be admitted because she did not get better and even ended up in a coma. Her liver could not function because of fulminant hepatic failure, and there was no other way except to undergo transplant surgery. Ms. Noora’s family looked for ways to save her life, and transferred her to Samsung Medical Center through air ambulance on May 2, 2016. She was unconscious at that time and had an artificial respirator attached.

However, there was an even bigger hurdle. Among the family members who came from Dubai, there was no eligible liver donor. For Ms. Noora, a foreigner, to have a liver transplant, her family members had to come from Dubai and receive tests in Korea to see whether they could donate their livers. However, as fulminant hepatic failure has fatally rapid characteristics that survival rate is just 10 to 25% even with intensive treatment, they simply could not wait any longer.  As liver transplant was not possible, the Samsung Medical Center medical staff tried to recover the function of her damaged liver somehow. The Samsung Medical Center medical staff consists of professors of Departments of Critical Care Medicine, Nephrology, Laboratory Medicine and Genetics, Infectious Diseases, Division of Liver Transplantation Surgery, etc. Among them is Professor Dong Hyun Shin of the Department of Gastroenterology who has many experiences in treating acute liver failure.

For patients for whom liver transplant is difficult, it is important to prevent death caused by liver failure complications to increase the survival rate by maximizing the recovery ability of liver. As such, the medical staff worked to take care of her day and night.  Finally, Ms. Noora opened her eyes miraculously after five days of being admitted. When the medical staff asked, “Do you know where you are?” she answered, “Either at home or at a hospital in Dubai.” Her family was so happy that they almost cried.  A week later, Ms. Noora’s consciousness returned with such clarity that the artificial respirator was taken off. Her condition has also improved enough that she could eat. Her liver function improved as well, and she was discharged about a month later.

This was a change that surprised the medical staff in Dubai who treated Ms. Noora, because her liver did not function at all due to fulminant hepatic failure when she was initially transferred to Samsung Medical Center.

Professor Dong Hyun Shin said, “It’s rare for an unconscious patient with liver failure to recover liver function only through intensive treatment without having a liver transplant, like Mr. Noora.” He added, “It is because of the multidisciplinary liver failure treatment team, who are able to actively manage various situations caused by acute liver failure, and the willpower of the patient.  Ms. Noora said, “I regained my health to as before because my family chose Samsung Medical Center in Korea.” With that, she was determined to live harder in the future.