Doctors at a Delhi-based hospital performed an open-heart surgery on a three-week old infant who was suffering from a rare heart condition, offering her a fresh lease of life. The 19-day-old baby was admitted to the hospital on April 10 as an emergency case.
The case presented huge challenges at every step, the doctors said. The baby was diagnosed with Infra Diaphragmatic Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection and the oxygenated blood from her lungs was not reaching the heart.
“The blood had to reach the heart in some way to sustain life. In her condition, the blood was draining through a channel which was joining a vein in the liver. Due to this, the lung pressures were very high,” Manisha Chakrabarti, senior consultant, Paediatric Cardiology at Indraprastha Apollo hospitals.
This condition was a true paediatric cardiac emergency, she said. At the time of admission, the baby’s lung pressures were very high but the biggest obstacle was her overall health. She weighed just 2.2 kg and was very weak, she said.
“This was probably the smallest baby (in terms of weight) to undergo an open-heart surgery at our institution. So her treatment method was also distinctive from other cases,” the doctor claimed. Detailing the surgical procedure, Muthu Jothi, senior consultant, paediatric cardio thoracic surgeon at the hospital, said they stopped the blood circulation completely for 30 minutes.
“To ensure that her organs don’t suffer shock, especially the brain, we lowered her body temperature by placing ice all around her little body. During this time the channel was closed and the chamber was connected to the left side of the heart,” Jothi said.
The baby girl was put on a heart-lung machine for the procedure. After successfully connecting the systemic circuit of the blood vessels in the correct order, circulation was slowly re-established and she was taken off the heart-lung machine, he said.
After the operation, the baby was in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for one week and her recovery was uneventful. Post-operative ECHO revealed good recovery and she was discharged on April 21. “She has been coming to us for follow up and I am delighted to see her doing well. She has been gaining weight and is expected to make a full recovery without any hiccups,” Jothi said.
The child’s father said, “It was an immensely distressing experience, having to witness our newborn child go through so much trauma.” “The happiness of her birth was overshadowed by her ailment. We are grateful to the doctors, due to tireless efforts of whom, we have our daughter back with us,” he said.