AIIMS doctors trying to save infant with rare heart disorder

Although previous attempts to save babies with such complications have largely proved futile, the doctors are leaving no stone unturned to save the life of the five-year-old baby who was admitted on August 28.

Born on August 26, the infant was brought to hospital by his parents, who are from Bihar, wrapped in a towel with his heart protruding from the chest. This condition, otherwise known as Ectopia cordis, is a birth defect wherein the heart is abnormally located. It protrudes outside the chest through a split sternum. It occurs in five to nine cases per million births and the mortality rate is very high.

The department of paediatric surgery, AIIMS has already conducted four such surgeries in the past of which only one survived. “This child was brought to us on Friday afternoon wrapped in an unclean cloth. The baby has developed infection as he was exposed to outside elements during his night-long train journey. We are trying our best to save the baby,” Dr A K Bisnoi, a cardio-thoracic surgeon with AIIMS said.

“It will be too early to tell about the surgery. Before we conduct any surgery we have to investigate for other abnormalities if any. We have also to see if there is any space inside to push this protruding heart,” he said.

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