A woman in India, whose kidneys shut down completely after she was bitten by a snake, has recovered following six weeks of dialysis.

The 30-year-old woman, whose identity was not revealed, visited a hospital in Pune, a city in the western state of Maharashtra, on December 2, complaining that her urine output had reduced drastically and that her body had swollen.

Tests revealed the woman was suffering from a severe renal shutdown and she was immediately admitted to the ICU.

“Blood reports showed destruction of red blood cells and platelets. After tests, we were able to diagnose her with a rare syndrome called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) which can be caused due to snake bite,” Dr Avinash Ignatius, nephrologist and transplant physician from Noble Hospital, told local daily Hindustan Times. “The same was subsequently confirmed by a kidney biopsy.”

“She needed urgent dialysis. Subsequent to diagnosis of HUS, plasmapheresis was immediately started, as any delay in treatment could have caused permanent damage to her kidney and (the) condition could have been life threatening,” the doctor said.

“During plasmapheresis, contaminated plasma was removed by a special plasma-filter and was replaced with healthy plasma,” the doctor added.

Her urine output improved over the next six weeks following which dialysis was discontinued.

“She is doing fine now. Her kidney function has recovered and she will not require dialysis now. This is a very rare case,” Dr Ignatius said. “According to studies published in the Indian Journal of Nephrology, there are less than 30 cases reported worldwide with patients suffering from HUS and complete kidney failure,” the doctor told the outlet.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 5.4 million snake bites are reported year. Between 81,410 to 137, 880 people die from snakebites every year, out of which, around 58,000 deaths are in India.

“In our patient, the cause for kidney failure could be attributed to thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) which in simple words means inflammation of micro blood vessels supplying blood to the kidneys and also micro clots clogging off the lumens of these blood vessels,” Dr ZA Khan, an intensivist, told Hindustan times.