Infant gets a second shot at life in Mumbai after heart stops for 45 minutes

A three-month-old was given a new lease of life on Wednesday after his heart stopped beating for 45 minutes.

Doctors from Mumbai’s Wadia Hospital managed to revive the infant by connecting his heart to an artificial mechanical circulatory support systemthat stabilised the organ. The child is fit now, and can lead a normal life, said doctors.

Aaradhya Wagh, who lives in Dhule, was born with a hole in his heart. Immediately after birth, he had started turning blue. Doctors say such babies, born with limited capacity of the heart to pump fresh blood in the body, are popularly called ‘blue babies,’ due to low levels of oxygen in the blood.

“Aaradhya’s heart had a hole and the blood outlet from it was too small. Doctors told us that it made the heart unable to pump enough blood and provide oxygen to his body. The chances of him surviving with this condition in Dhule was slim and so why we came to Mumbai with high hopes,” said Ravindra Wagh, father of the child.

A BT shunt surgery – which is an emergency procedure, performed to increase oxygen supply to the body — was performed last week. But 24 hours after the procedure, Aaradhya’s blood pressure dropped and his heart stopped functioning. This was when the medical team at Wadia hospital sprung into action.

“It took nearly 26 hours for the heart to start beating normally. We tried artificially resuscitating the heart for 45 minutes, but it remained non-functional. Throughout that period, I was slowly massaging it so that it started pumping. It was a great relief for the team once the heart started working,” said Dr Biswa Panda, chief paediatric cardiac surgeon at Wadia hospital.

He added that Aaradhya’s heart problem had been diagnosed in the womb. “There are very few mothers who decide to go ahead and give birth to a child with such a condition. After delivery, the he got critical as his blood had only 50-60% oxygen. A chest infection made the scenario worse,” he said.

In the next two days, Aaradhya’s body started functioning normally. He could urinate as usual and his heartbeat was normal. He started feeding and was out of the ventilator in a few days. The hospital didn’t charge the parents considering that they were underprivileged.

“We will always be grateful to the hospital and especially Dr Panda who gave our son a new life. We are very simple people and struggle to make ends meet. Thanks to the support of the medical team at the hospital, which treated our son like their own,” said Ravindra.

Minnie Bodhanwala, chief of Wadia hospital, said the institution was glad to have helped Aaradhya. “Our modern equipment and a well-qualified team helps provide such facilities for children,” she said.

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