Columbia Asia Hospital saves a blue baby

Bangalore, January 30, 2018: Baby Ahmed (name changed), a 5 months old baby, who had travelled all the way from Sudan to Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield, with complaints of breathlessness and low oxygen levels, was in a very serious condition on arrival in Bangalore, and the parents were refusing to admit the child in hospital, not realizing the seriousness of the condition. The child was suffering from congenital heart disease (this is a defect by birth), a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with Pulmonary Atresia, where the main tube that carries blood to lungs was not developed.

Dr.Benedict Raj and the team of cardiologists, intensive care doctors, nurses andtechnical staff stabilized the child’s condition enough to go for emergencysurgery. Meanwhile they used the time to convince the parents with the help oftranslators about the seriousness of the condition and shifted the baby tooperating theatre by evening. 

“Ourmain challenge was to convince the parents that the child needs an immediatesurgery. The child needed a first stage (emergency) surgery, as he was veryyoung for a complete operation to correct his heart defect. The very firstsurgery was conducted then where the doctor provided the lung with a small tubeprocedure, called the BT SHUNT, a surgical procedure generally used to increasepulmonary blood flow for palliation in duct dependent cyanotic heart defectslike pulmonary atresia, which are common causes of blue baby syndrome. Afterthis surgery was conducted, the “Blue Baby” became pink for the very first timesince birth, that night, the child received enough oxygen”, said Dr.Benedict Raj, Cardiac surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield. 

Aftersix months, a second surgery was conducted on the child, which was planned andexecuted equally well. In this surgery a new tube and an artificial valve wascreated using the child’s own tissue and this was placed between the heart andthe lungs, which is similar to normal anatomy. This artificial valve does notrequire any medications and at the end of the surgery the child’s oxygen levelsin the body was 100%. 

Itwas a herculean task for convincing the parents regarding the seriousness ofthe child’s condition with a team of 8 doctors which includesanesthesiologists, intensive care doctors, cardiologists, pediatricians andmany others. 

Dr.Benedict Raj and his team, who believe that world class heart surgery can beperformed in India with high success rate at very economical price.

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