In a rare surgery, a two-day-old boy born with a complete heart block underwent a rate-responsive pacemaker implant at a city hospital recently.
Against a normal heart rate for a newborn of 100 to 110 beats per minute, the baby from Navi Mumbai had a heart rate of as low as 45 to 50 beats per minute.
The pacemaker implant will enable the infant to overcome the near-fatal heart defect.
“It was a complicated case as the child was just two days old and the body weight was very low. But we did not delay the surgery as in such cases one should put a pacemaker in at the earliest,” said Dr Suresh Joshi, pediatric cardiac surgeon at Wockhardt Hospital, Mulund.
The surgery, conducted on September 21, involved placing a 22-gm pacemaker below the infant’s abdomen wall.
“A wire-like thing that is attached to the pacemaker is then put on the heart surface. It acts as a special sensor to recognise changes in the body’s blood and oxygen requirement. Based on this information, the machine adjusts the heart rate to meet the body’s changing need for blood flow,” Joshi explained.
Wockhardt Hospital’s youngest patient to undergo a pacemaker implant was a 15-hour-old infant.