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Hole in heart and no pulse for 45 mins - yet baby lives

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 6/04/2017
Three-month-old baby Aaradhya Wagh was born with a hole in his heart. © HT Photo Three-month-old baby Aaradhya Wagh was born with a hole in his heart.

A three-month-old baby in Mumbai born with a hole in his heart now has a miracle second lease of life after his heart stopped beating for 45 minutes last week.

Doctors from Mumbai’s Wadia Hospital managed to revive the child – Dhule-based Aaradhya Wagh -- by connecting the heart to an artificial mechanical circulatory support system that stabilised the organ. Aaradhya is now fit and doctors say he can lead a normal life.

The child had lost his heartbeat a day after undergoing a surgery to repair heart impairments. As the heart’s work was taken over by the machine, the organ started beating. Over a period of time with the help of a series of life saving procedures, the heart started responding and became fully functional.

“This entire procedure took nearly 26 hours for the heart to start beating normally, it was a great relief for the team,” added Dr Biswa Panda, chief paediatric cardiac surgeon.

Aaradhya hails from an underprivileged family whose skin started going blue soon after birth. Doctors say such babies, born with limited capacity of the heart to pump fresh blood in the body, are popularly known as ‘blue babies,’ due to low levels of oxygen in the blood.

“Aaradhya’s heart had a hole and the blood outlet of the heart was too small. Doctors told us that it made the heart unable to pump enough blood and provide oxygen to his body, the chances of his survival were, as told to us, minimal in Dhule and that’s why we came to Mumbai with high hopes,” said Ravindra Wagh, father of the child.

Aaradhya’s blood pressure dropped and the heart stopped functioning. © HT Photo Aaradhya’s blood pressure dropped and the heart stopped functioning.

Panda said Aaradhya’s heart problem was diagnosed in the womb. “There are very few mothers who decide to go ahead and give birth to a child with such heart problems. After delivery, the baby became critical as the level of oxygen in its blood was only 50-60%. A chest infection made the scenario worse,” said Dr Panda.

A lifesaving BT shunt surgery – which is an emergency surgery to increase oxygen supply to the body -- was performed last week. But 24 hours after the procedure, Aaradhya’s blood pressure dropped and the heart stopped functioning. This was when the medical team at Wadia hospital sprang into action.

“We tried artificially resuscitating the heart for 45 minutes despite which the heart was non-functional. Throughout that period, I was slowly massaging the heart to pump enough blood artificially in order to keep blood flowing to the other parts of its body,” added Panda.

In the next two days, Aaradhya’s body started functioning normally, could pass urine as usual and heartbeat was normal. Feeding started and the baby was out of the ventilator in a few days. The hospital didn’t charge the parents considering their financial situation.

“We will always be grateful to the hospital and especially Dr Panda who gave our son a new lease of life. We are very simple people from a remote village and struggle to make ends meet. Thanks to the support and concern from the medical staff at the hospital who considered our son like their own and gave the best treatment,” said Ravindra.

Minnie Bodhanwala, chief of Wadia hospital, said the institution was glad to have helped Aaradhya. “With the help of the various modern equipment and well-qualified team, we are able to provide such facilities for Children.

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