Indian Baby Boy Born with Heart Outside His Chest

A newborn baby boy with a heart protruding from his chest is set to undergo a complex surgery in New Delhi, India doctors said Monday.

The child has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where his heart has been covered with a synthetic membrane and infected blood fully replaced from his body, said A.K. Bisoi, professor of cardiothoracic surgery.

He told CNN that the four-day-old baby was taken in with a severe infection and dehydration as his parents brought him in a train from a remote region along India's border with Nepal.

The child also has a hole in his heart and is thought to have an extremely rare condition called ectopia cordis where the chest fails to close over all or part of the heart.

"There are only five to eight cases of this kind in one million live births," Bisoi told CNN.

Doctors were surprised that the baby had been able to survive despite so many complexities, he said.

Surgeons may now plan to carry out an operation using a total circulatory arrest procedure that will also involve creating a home for the heart in the chest, said Bisoi, CNN informs.

Doctors had performed an array of tests on the baby to see if he has any other congenital defects. The baby is found to be immuno-deficient and this could be due to the absence of thymus gland, which provides immunity to the baby in the first 4-6 years of life. "His immunity is very poor and this is likely due to absence of thymus gland. In this situation it becomes difficult for the child to survive multiple stages of surgery,'' said Dr Bisoi.

Though a decision is yet to be taken, doctors are contemplating a one-stage surgery to put back the heart in the chest cavity. "As his immunity is poor, we have to see whether the child can sustain multiple surgeries. A decision will be taken about the surgery after the exchange blood transfusion is successfully complete,'' added Dr Bisoi, reports The Times of India.

The doctor, who is incharge of the five-member team looking into the case, said a heart normally has two pumps.

The infant was brought to the premier institute on Friday when he was just two days old by his father Chander Manjhi.

Kept in the ICCU (intensive cardiac care unit) of the Cardio-Thoracic Sciences Centre, the infant Sunday night went through exchange blood transfusion as his blood has been infected.

“The baby is relatively stable and we performed exchange transfusion Sunday night and replaced his infected blood with pure and sterilized blood. The baby is immuno-deficient and highly vulnerable to infection,” Bisoi said.

He said the infant, weighing two kgs, was given 160-200 ml of A positive blood.

The doctor said they would take a decision about performing surgery on the baby Tuesday, informs Thaindian News.

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