Miracle baby with protruding heart dies at AIIMS

September 16th, 2009 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) After a 22-day-long battle, the “miracle baby” born with a protruding heart died here of “infection” even as doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) fought all odds to save him.
“The baby died at 2 p.m. Wednesday following severe infection and pneumonia,” said A.K. Bisoi, cardiologist and additional professor at the cardiothoracic and vascular surgery department of AIIMS.

The boy was brought to the premier institute Aug 28 by his father Chander Manjhi from Bihar after doctors in Chapra found that he was suffering from thoracic ectopia cordis, a “rarest of the rare heart defect” in which the heart is abnormally located.

The defect occurs in five to nine cases in one million births and the mortality rate is very high.

His chances of survival were slim ever since his birth. But doctors at AIIMS had their fingers crossed and operated upon him Sep 3.

Bisoi, leading a five-member team, tried to push his heart within the body after creating space for it. Earlier, doctors had conducted two blood transfusions to rule out infection before the operation.

With the news of the baby surviving for such a long time defying all odds, many across the country prayed for his long life.

“The child was brought here wrapped in an unclean cloth and infection had spread to all his body parts as he was exposed to outside elements during his night-long train journey from Bihar,” said Bisoi.

According to Bisoi, such children are either born dead or die within 36 hours.

“He has already created a record by surviving for so many days,” he said.

Bisoi said these cases can be treated surgically but in general involve lengthy and very complicated paediatric cardiothoracic surgery.

Usually, the doctors come to know about the abnormality in three to four weeks of foetal life when the heart starts developing. The heart usually shifts to its original position. But in this case, it did not happen.

The doctor said in most cases when doctors detect the abnormality, they counsel the parents, especially the mother, whether they want to continue with the pregnancy or abort.

“If they decide to go with the pregnancy, they are referred to hospitals that are equipped to handle such cases,” Bisoi said.

Seeing the poor socio-economic condition of the family, the institute had borne the expenses of the entire treatment.

In the past few days, the baby had developed pneumonia. And as the infection spread fast in his small body, he breathed his last Wednesday afternoon, doctors said.

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