Saving a heart in the midst of the lockdown

Success story: The child recovering from the complex surgery at home in Sangli, Maharashtra.

Success story: The child recovering from the complex surgery at home in Sangli, Maharashtra.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Doctors, ambulance crews raced to save a baby with rare cardiac conditions

Rohit Chavan is celebrating one month of a medical miracle. At this time a month ago, doctors from two districts in Maharashtra — Sangli and Mumbai — and the State-run 108 ambulance service were working overtime to ensure that his baby born with a rare heart condition got emergency surgery.

On May 7, the baby boy was raced from Sangli to SRCC Children’s Hospital in Mumbai in six ambulances across 380 km in 10 hours. The next morning, the infant underwent an eight-hour-long procedure to repair the complex heart defect. Today, he is recuperating well at home.

The tiny patient was first diagnosed with transposition of great arteries — where the two main arteries come out from a different heart chamber or are reversed and the body doesn’t get oxygenated blood. But there was a further shock: a scan revealed another severe heart condition — infracardiac total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC). Here, the vessels carrying purified blood from the lungs drain through the liver. “There is only one reported case in South America with a combination of these two conditions who survived post-surgery,” said cardiac surgeon Dr. Pradeep Kaushik, who operated on the baby.

Born on March 16, Mr. Chavan’s child seemed healthy at first. A few weeks later, he began turning blue. The parents rushed him to Sangli civil hospital where the first defect was diagnosed. Due to lack of facilities there, sending the baby to an advanced centre was the only option.

Dr. Laxmikant Magdum, a medical officer in Sangli said, “Sending them to Mumbai was a challenge due to the lockdown.” The 108 ambulance stepped in. After negative COVID-19 tests, the parents and infant left for Mumbai.

At SRCC Hospital the baby’s oxygen level was just 40%. Such cases must be operated in two weeks but this baby was near two months. “Doctors said it was nothing but a miracle,” said Mr. Chavan (31), a farmer in Sangli’s Karoli village.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:35:04 PM |

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