Kerala roads make way for baby battling for life

Kerala roads make way for baby battling for life

Representative image

At peak hour on Tuesday, roads in Kerala were cleared for an ambulance that was on a mission to bring a two-week-old infant who has been battling for life from a hospital in Mangaluru to another hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, 600 km away, for emergency surgery.

The baby born to Kasargod (North Kerala) natives Mitah and Saniya was undergoing treatment for heart ailment (neonatal coarctation) at a hospital in Mangaluru. But the doctors referred the child to the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), a government-run speciality hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. 

As the condition of the infant looked like it could deteriorate anytime, doctors suggested that the child may be carried in an ambulance with ventilator facility preferably during day time. This way, if its condition did worsen, the child could be taken to any hospital on the way. 

The Child Protection Team-Kerala, an NGO, took over the mission with the goal of covering a distance of over 600 km in 10 to 12 hours. Normally, it would take more than 15 hours during peak time.

The ambulance, with a doctor on board, started from Mangaluru by about 11 am. The police were alerted and the message was shared on social media. Even Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appealed to the people to ensure that the child reached the hospital in time. 

But as the baby's condition shown negative signs, Kerala Health Minister K K Shylaja herself intervened. She directed that the child be taken to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Kochi, which is 400 km from Mangaluru, so that three to four hours of travel could be saved. The Kerala government also assured to meet entire treatment expenses. The child was brought to Amritha hospital by around 4.30 pm.

Doctors at the hospital said that the child's condition was being reviewed and treatment protocol would be decided soon.

Sources at SCTIMST said that all preparations were in place since Monday to offer emergency treatment to the child.