A -26 day old baby was operated on for a congenital non-functional pulmonary valve that threatened its survival. Born a little premature at 32 weeks with a very low birth weight of just 1.6 Kg, the baby was struggling to breathe as a valve that allows the passage of blood from the heart to the lungs was blocked. With no blood reaching the lungs, the lung function was fast deteriorating. Also the heart was trying to pump harder to push the blood through the non-functional valve which would ultimately lead to a cardiac collapse. The baby was put on ventilator in the neonatal ICU.
As time was precious, a team of doctors headed by an experienced paediatric cardiologist decided to go full steam ahead with the opening of closed valve using a new and unique hybrid intervention. To do such a delicate operation on a beating heart that is without the use of bypass machine (procedure where heart is stopped and an artificial machine takes over the function of the heart) on such a tiny baby had its own risks. But the heroic efforts from the team of doctors, nurses and technician staff ensured the procedure was a great success. A balloon catheter was guided towards the diseased valve and was then inflated. The valve opened up immediately restoring normal circulation.
The baby’s condition improved dramatically and was off the ventilator the very next day. His mother was able to feed him too.
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