The infant who was born with his heart protruding from the chest and was operated upon by doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on September 3 breathed his last at 3.30 pm on Wednesday.
The 20-day-old baby was yet to be named.
Born on August 26, the baby was brought to the hospital by his father Chandar Majhi, a daily wage labourer, from Bihar.
The baby suffered from a rare congenital anomaly called Ectopia Cordis, a birth defect where the heart is abnormally located and in his case, it was protruding out of his chest.
He was brought to Delhi in a three tier ordinary compartment wrapped in a towel. A team of eight doctors had operated on him in a three-and-a-half hours surgery, where they had successfully repositioned his heart in the heart cavity.
“The baby was born without the thymus gland, which provides immunity to the child. In this case, we aren’t even sure about the circumstances in which he was born and then brought to Delhi,” said Dr AK Bisoi, associate professor, cardiac surgery, AIIMS.
“When the baby was brought to the hospital, he had contracted infection which we tried to contain through a couple of complete blood transfusions.”
“Even after the surgery, although his heart function was fine, we were worried about infections,” he said. The baby had developed pneumonia and suffered multiple organ failure.
The doctors who are still exploring the exact cause of the death said it was probably due to respiratory distress. In most cases of Ectopia Cordis, the baby died within 48 hours of birth.
In this case, the doctors observed him for a week before finally operating on him.