Heart surgery for newborn boy a success

Xinhua Hospital announced that surgery to save a newborn boy, who suffered two cardiac arrests after delivery because of serious congenital heart disease, was a success.

Xinhua Hospital announced that emergency surgery to save a newborn boy, who suffered two cardiac arrests within the first three hours after delivery because of serious congenital heart disease, was a success.

Through a mechanism connecting the delivery room and pediatric heart center, doctors were able to carry out surgery soon after delivery.

“Without such a connection, there was no chance for the boy’s survival,” said Dr Lu Ya’nan, director of Xinhua Hospital’s pediatric heart center, on Monday.

As one of the city’s critical pregnancy diagnosis and treatment centers, Xinhua has established a strong medical team following the entire process of pregnancy and abnormal conditions. The pediatric heart center also intervenes to offer timely surgery and treatment as early as three hours after the delivery of children with severe congenital heart diseases.

This boy was found to suffer from congenital transposition of the great arteries when the mother was at 21 weeks of pregnancy and was transferred from another hospital to Xinhua for monitoring.

Transposition of the great arteries means that the two major arteries carrying blood away from the heart, the aorta and the pulmonary artery, are switched. This condition accounts for 5 to 7 percent of all congenital heart diseases and there is a very high mortality rate when it occurs in children — 90 percent die within one year if they don't receive the proper medical treatment.

Dr Chen Sun from Xinhua said such surgeries are usually carried out two to three days after natural delivery, however prenatal checks found higher risk when the mother reached 36 weeks of pregnancy.

Doctors decided to perform a C-section on September 27. The boy was in critical condition upon delivery and doctors carried out surgery at once. The surgery was successful, and doctors decided not to close the chest right away to give more time and space for natural recovery of the tiny organ.

All the boy’s signs became normal on the following day, so doctors conducted surgery to close the boy’s chest on Monday morning.

“If everything goes smoothly, the boy will grow up like other healthy child,” Dr Lu Ya’nan said.

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