Doctors save baby born with multiple birth defects

March 27, 2019

A team of doctors at a city hospital performed complex corrective surgeries on a day-old baby boy born with multiple birth defects on February 1 and succeeded in saving his life.

Instead of being separate, the baby’s wind and food pipes were connected, putting him at higher risk of developing fatal lung complications. Besides, the baby also had rare disease of heart where the connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery remained open after birth, instead of closing as it should.

The baby was born through a C-section at Columbia Asia Hospital in Kharadi on February 1 and weighed 2.5kg. "However, he showed excessive frothing and respiratory distress, due to which he was shifted to the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit," the treating doctors said.

The doctors soon realised that they had a complex case in hand. “Besides the other conditions, the baby also did not have any anal opening,” the doctors said.

In medical terms, these congenital defects are called tracheoesophageal fistula and patent ductus arteriosus. Hospital’s paediatric surgeon Pranav Jadhav and paediatric critical care expert Ganesh Badge performed the surgeries to correct the abnormal connection between the food and wind pipes. They also performed colostomy (surgically create an opening in large intestine) to create the anal opening.

“In cases of tracheoesophageal fistula, there is a high chance that the acid formed in the stomach reaches the lungs which can eventually cause pneumonia. The surgery is critical and has about 10% chances of death. It took three to four hours to complete the surgery under full anaesthesia,” Jadhav said.

The baby was kept for three days on ventilator in an upright position. “As the baby’s blood pressure was low, we provided him with drugs to increase the force or speed of contraction of heart muscles,” Badge said.

The baby did not develop possible complications including sepsis or hypoglycaemia during his stay at the NICU. “We have also trained the mother in colostomy wound care. She knows how to clean after the child passes stool and general dressing,” Jadhav said.

The baby is doing well now. “He has gained weight and has recovered significantly,” the mother said.