Hailing from Shimoga, the baby’s parents realized there was some defect in the fetus even before it was born through fetal echocardiography (test used to diagnose cardiac conditions in the fetal stage) during one of the checkups conducted by Manipal doctors locally. However, considering the condition is curable, doctors at Manipal assured the parents to cure the baby and not terminate pregnancy.
Thus, the couple moved to Bengaluru and delivered the baby on 28th January 2019. However, as detected, baby was born with a hole in the heart and was shifted to ICU the very next day. Considering the baby was just a day old and weighed only 1.6 Kgs, a suitable pacemaker was not available in the hospital. As a result, the hospital placed an order for the smallest pacemaker available from Hong Kong which arrived on the fourth day and the surgery was performed immediately.
Speaking about the case, Dr Devananda N S, Chairman & Consultant HOD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Manipal Hospitals said, “The initial 3-5 days are very crucial as babies are the most fragile during this time. Especially in this case, there were many challenges as the heartbeat was just about 0-40 times a minute with normal being 140 times a minute during the time of birth. Moreover, the baby was weighing only 1.6 Kgs. Owing to the size, we had to find the smallest pacemaker to be implanted. Nevertheless, thanks to the advance neonatal care with multidisciplinary expertise, we were able to send back home a baby born as old as 4 days with septal defect.
Timely diagnosis and intervention paid off in saving the baby in this case, however lot of people lose their babies due to lack of awareness. Babies with any suspected or known heart diseases should not be salvaged as there is always a possibility to survive. Fetal echocardiography plays an important role in diagnosis, management and follow up of patients in such cases,” added Dr. Devananda.
Expressing her joy, the baby’s mother said, “I have gone through two miscarriages earlier due to complications and I could not save my babies. Even this time I completely lost hope and never thought I would see my baby alive until I met doctors at Manipal Hospitals. As this is our first child, we wanted the best care to be available for him and we are extremely thankful to the team of experts at the hospital who took immense care of our bundle of joy.”