World’s tiniest baby undergoes heart surgery in Udaipur, survival chance just 55 percent

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Baby Jain’s heart defect is fairly rare but occurs more frequently with premature babies

Image Courtesy: twitter

World’s tiniest baby made his way to see the light of earth, successfully overcoming a critical heart surgery in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Jeevanta Hospital, in Rajasthan.

SP Jain and his wife, both residents of Udaipur, conceived after many years of marriage through IVF procedure from a nearby hospital. The baby was delivered by Lower Segment Caesarean Section (LSCS) procedure, in the 28th week of pregnancy.

The baby developed breathing difficulties immediate after his birth and was placed under the expert care of Neonatologist, Dr. Sunil Jangid of Jeevanta Hospital, in the state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The neonate of age only 15 days, weighed merely 470 grams at birth and was just the size of a palm. He was born prematurely after 28 weeks (5.5 months). His eyes hadn’t opened, lungs weren’t developed, skin resembled parchment paper, too fragile and delicate to touch, and had serious heart complications.

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According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, baby Jain’s heart defect is fairly rare but occurs more frequently with premature babies. Before birth, a baby’s aorta and pulmonary arteries are connected by a blood vessel that helps blood circulation.

When a baby is born, the blood vessel is supposed to close and disconnect the arteries; but sometime it fails to do so. Medicine often corrects the problem, but heart surgery is sometimes necessary when the medication does not work, HHS reports.

Cardiologist Dr. Ramesh Patel of Geetanjali Hospital confirmed that in this case, heart surgery was the last option available since the baby didn’t responded with medicines.

Jeevanta Hospital’s team decided to call Geetanjali Medical College & Hospital’s Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Sanjay Gandhi who had some previous experience of such cases. Due to the baby’s low weight, doctors had to operate him in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) as shifting him from one hospital to another and then to an operation theatre could be life threatening. Special miniaturized surgical equipments were used to operate the tiny one assuring no internal bleeding.

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Dr. Gandhi and team completed the surgery successfully in 30 minutes setting a world record for the tiniest miracle baby to have survived a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) corrective operation.

“Operating on an infant, especially when he is so tiny, is very challenging and risky as the body parts are extremely premature. There were many risks involved like respiratory distress syndrome, brain/lungs internal bleeding, feeding intolerance, developmental problems, etc., and above all survival rate up to 55% only,” said cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Dr. Sanjay Gandhi to Hindustan Times. He also claimed, “It’s difficult to say off-hand, but he is the smallest baby to have undergone this heart surgery with the lowest weight in India as well as world.”

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For the parents, it’s not less than a miracle that their son survived all odds. “We still haven’t thought of a name for our son. It is no less than a miracle. He is so brave that he has survived so many odds with such low weight being a pre-term neonate. Our prayers are answered,” the parents told Hindustan Times with tearful eyes who have still kept their fingers crossed as their baby is still in the intensive care.

  • pravin kumar rajmal jain

    This baby 24 week pregnancy not 28 week