Baby born with heart outside chest gets fresh lease of life

Baby born with heart outside chest gets fresh lease of life

It was the worst nightmare for 32-year old Ravindranath Pramanik and his wife Kavita seeing their new born baby's heart protruding outside his rib-cage.

"For a moment we just went blank seeing the heart of our baby hanging out of his rib-cage. He was born in the government ambulance as my wife was being rushed to a nearby primary health centre for delivery on November 25," said Pranamik, a native of East Singhbhum in Jharkhand.

The doctors at the primary health centre had given up hopes and referred the baby to Brahmananda Narayana Multispeciality Hospital in Jamshedpur with the complication.

"For a moment I had also given up hope but my wife didn't," said Pramanik as tears welled up in his eyes.

The first challenge for the team of doctors at the hospital was to control the infection and simultaneously address other complications.

After a careful intense planning, a team of cardiac surgeons and plastic surgeons at hospital performed a surgery on the seven-day-old baby which lasted for six hours after which they were able to place the heart in its position.

"This was a very rare and complex surgery that involved team of doctors from cardiac surgery as well as plastic surgery. The survival rate of this surgery is only 40 per cent, and if the heart was left outside the body for too long it would have resulted in immediate fatality.

"The second phase of the surgery will be done after five months in which with the help of the plastic surgeons the rib cage wall will be reconstructed. This will be followed by a third phase which includes repair of any other cardiac defects associated with his condition," senior consultant cardiac surgeon Dr Perwez Alam said.

He further said that this surgery is a first-of-its kind reported in Eastern India.

Pranamik, who has become the father of third son, is now relieved and happy as the baby is doing fine.

"We have named him Bajrangi as he fought death. He is crying, drinking milk and also looking at us. I am grateful to the doctors who gave my child a new life," Pramanik said, adding that the doctors will perform more surgeries on the baby after his condition betters.

This rare birth defect called 'Ectopia Cordis' is reported to happen in eight per billion births globally. This condition is a congenital malformation in which the heart is abnormally located either partially or totally outside the rib-cage.

The ectopic or protruding heart can be found along a spectrum of anatomical locations, including the neck, chest, or abdomen. Globally, there have been only 250 such cases reported and about 23 cases in India, Alam said.

Comments (+)