In an extremely challenging feat, a premature baby weighing only 700 grams was successfully operated on for a heart defect at CIMS hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
The 24-day-old premature girl was born in Kheralu tehsil in Mehsana district, with a heart defect called Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). Because of this condition, the ductus arteriosus, which normally closes at birth, remains open. Resultantly, the blood, instead of getting circulated into the body, goes back to the lungs.
The infant, suffering from apnea and who suddenly stopped breathing, was evaluated by the hospital doctors and referred for a surgery.
"To correct this defect, a surgery called PDA ligation is required, but due to multiple factors it was highly risky in this case. The premature baby was low in weight. Her high creatinine level indicated impaired kidney functioning. There were also some evidences of infection. Because of low birth weight, the baby was extremely fragile. Still, we decided to go ahead with PDA ligation surgery as it was the only option," said Dr Shaunak Shah, Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon at CIMS hospital.
The baby successfully underwent the PDA ligation surgery on Saturday. The neonate is now recovering. "The neonate was the lowest-weighing baby we have operated on at CIMS and probably one of the smallest, if not the smallest in Gujarat to have undergone cardiac surgery," Shah added.
Children born prematurely and having low weight are also prone to hypothermia, i.e., a sudden drop in temperature. The surgery team at the hospital did not switch on the air conditioner during the surgery and the baby was operated while being kept on an infant warmer.
"These were additional challenges, but we were able to overcome them because of team effort and the support system. Also, a special mention for CIMS Foundation which has supported and helped neonate patients for such lifesaving surgeries in the past" Shah added.