A critically-ill baby, born prematurely, has undergone a rare surgery at a private facility here for a medical condition that affected flow of blood to his heart, hospital authorities said on Monday. The child, born to an eight-month pregnant woman in western Uttar Pradesh, was brought to a private hospital at Vaishali near here when he was just 17 days old, they said.
He was diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA, a common condition detected in newborns. PDA causes a duct or an opening in a child’s heart to stay open which otherwise would have closed within three to seven days of the birth. This causes a backflow of blood from the heart to the lungs causing major complications due to the blood pooling in the lungs, doctors said.
If left untreated, PDAs are known to cause severe infections and impairs normal function of the lungs, they said. The baby was first brought to Max hospital in Vaishali on June 4 and on June 14 was transferred to Max hospital in Saket for the surgery, a spokesperson of the Max healthcare group said.
The surgery took place on June 16 through a device called “piccolo", he said. The hospital, in a statement claimed that this procedure using the piccolo device was done for the “first time in north India".
“In a rare intervention, the first-ever in northern India, a team of doctors from Max hospitals at Saket and Vaishali, successfully treated a critically-ill, underweight, pre-term baby suffering from a condition known as Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA," the statement said.
Dr Neeraj Awasthy, principal consultant and in-charge, paediatric cardiology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket said, “Till date, newborns were being taken from one hospital to another in search of a solution to the situation for lack of access to this device. PDA cases were being treated with medicine-based management, waiting for the child to grow up and gain weight and reach the age of three to six months so that they could go ahead with surgical intervention.
However, this could also be fatal since as the child grew, the lungs would open to their maximum capacity and also soften up causing the blood flow to the lungs to increase more leading to major complications." With the use of piccolo, it is now possible to treat even a pre-term who weighs as low as 700 grams, he said, adding that a device is inserted through the leg vein and the procedure takes just a few minutes.
“While the preparation of this procedure at our end is longer, the good news is that the recovery starts soon after," he added. The child post-surgery was taken back to the Vaishali facility and discharged on June 24, the spokesperson said.
The new-born was also on partial ventilation and his condition had deteriorated to the extent that the child may not have made it without timely intervention. At the hospital where the baby was born, he had developed respiratory problems, Awasthy said. The piccolo device is already being used the world over to treat PDA in pre-term and newborn babies since it is US FDA-approved. In India, this has only been used as a life-saving measure in south India, but now with the advent of this technology in north India, there is hope for such babies to lead a better healthier life with quicker healing, the hospital claimed in the statement.