New Delhi, Oct 17 : A 35-week preterm baby of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Assistant Sub-Inspector survived a life-saving heart surgery -- a rare condition occurring in one in 20,000 births.
Baby Bhavishya's heart could only beat 40 times a minute as compared to 140-160 times a minute of a healthy newborn when she was admitted at the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI) where doctors implanted a permanent pacemaker within 12 hours of her birth.
The doctors at FEHI displayed their commitment to patient-centric care and skills in clinical excellence during the current pandemic by immediately responding to the emergency case of the pre-term baby born with a complete congenital heart block.
The birth of the baby took place in another hospital in New Delhi and as the health of the baby started deteriorating, the father was advised to take the baby to a pediatric cardiac centre.
The rare surgery was done under the guidance of Dr. Gaurav Kumar, Director, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at FEHI.
Dr. Kumar and Dr Sushil Azad, Principal Consultant Pediatric Cardiology, handled the critically ill baby with the support of a team of doctors at FEHI and they operated permanent pacemaker implant at midnight.
As per a statement from the FEHI, complete congenital heart block is a rare condition occurring in one in 20,000 births.
"Such cases are challenging because these babies are commonly born preterm with low birth weight. Their heart invariably functions poorly, and they have a poor chance of survival if emergency intervention is not done. In such babies, all procedures including anesthesia and surgery pose a very high risk."
Recalling the whole operation, Dr. Kumar said it was late evening when we received a call from another hospital regarding baby Bhavishya.
"We knew that the baby was in real danger and made immediate arrangements for safe transfer of the baby to FEHI. On arrival, the baby was found to have very poor heart and lung function. The case was technically challenging as the baby was preterm and low birth weight and operating upon a newborn always involves a lot of associated risks," Gaurav said.
"We decided to go ahead with the surgery at night itself because it was unlikely the baby would have survived till morning."
Father of Bhavishya, Pravin Kumar, ASI in CRPF said "I am very grateful to the staff of FEHI, especially Dr Gaurav Kumar and Dr Sushil Azad, who looked after my baby with great care, while his mother was admitted in another hospital."
The world came crashing down on us when we first heard about our baby's health condition, said the CRPF ASI.
Dr. Azad said operating upon a preterm baby suffering from a complete congenital heart block involves a lot of risk related to maintaining complete care of other vital organs and protecting these babies from infection, especially during this Covid pandemic.
"This surgery was only possible due to a multidisciplinary approach adopted by our team and we are happy to see how the baby has responded post the surgery," Azad said.