A 12-gram electronic device gave a lease of life to a 3.2-kg baby, barely 15 hours after his birth. Doctors at Wockhardt Hospital, Mulund, implanted a pacemaker in the newborn’s chest on Tuesday to increase his abnormally slow heart rate.
The baby boy is one of the youngest to get a pacemaker in India.
‘Baby Mishra’, as the hospital staff call him — he hasn’t been named yet — suffered from a rare cardiac rhythm, which slowed down the heart rate to 40 beats per minute against the normal 120.
His parents — Narendra Mishra (36) and Sangeeta (32) — learnt of his condition during the seventh month of pregnancy. A slow heart rate can cause heart failure if not treated immediately.
The Airoli-based couple consulted specialists at Wokhardt and opted for a pacemaker. “We were told that an early implantation could improve the heart rate. We decided to do whatever it took to save our baby,” said Narendra, a contractor for aluminum and glass products.
Further tests showed the foetus had complete heart block. The doctors decided to carry out a caesarean section 15 days before the end of the nine-month pregnancy period on Monday afternoon.
A paediatric cardiac intensivist and cardiologist were waiting with a specialised ambulance at the time of the delivery at a nursing home in Airoli. Within half an hour of his birth, ‘Baby Mishra’ was brought to Wokhardt’s intensive care unit.
“We discovered he also had a hole in the heart. That, too, had to be closed,” said Dr Suresh Joshi, consultant paediatric cardiac surgeon at Wockhardt.
Dr Joshi conducted the two-hour open-heart surgery on Tuesday morning. A Microny II SR+ pacemaker, the world’s smallest (the size of two coins stacked together) pulse generator, suitable for newborns, was sown on to the baby’s heart and the hole was closed.
“The baby will lead a normal life,” Dr Joshi said. The baby is recovering well and was discharged from the ICU on Thursday night.
“I am relieved. My son can lead a normal life,” said Narendra.