Correcting an inverted heart for a 10-day-old baby

When the fetus was more than 20 weeks old, a doctor at Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital discovered transposition of the great arteries – a complex congenital heart defect.

On January 18, Master Doctor Cao Dang Khang (Head of Children’s Cardiac Surgery Department of Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital) said that this is a dangerous heart defect for babies because it directly affects circulation. Blood feeds the brain and organs.

“Normally the aorta will connect to the left ventricle, but in this case, it connects the right ventricle, changing the opposite of two different blood sources to feed the body. Oxygen-poor blood is supplied to the muscles. organs in the body instead of going to the lungs. Oxygen-rich blood returns to the lungs instead of supplying the organs in the body. This is contrary to the normal functioning of the heart, “doctor Khang shared.

Previously, most transposition of the great arteries was detected later, when the baby was born. Now, thanks to advances in prenatal diagnosis and screening for severe disease before birth, doctors can accurately diagnose many complex diseases early.

According to Dr. Khang, during pregnancy, the infant is mainly supported by circulation from the mother’s heart, so the fetus in the womb will not be affected much when suffering from this disease. When the baby is born, this defect changes the body’s blood circulation, if not early intervention will surely die.

Immediately after birth, it is imperative for the baby to have a blood mixture to have enough blood to feed the body. Therefore, the doctors decided to break the atrial septum to create a mixed blood flow in the heart to increase the amount of red blood (oxygen-rich blood) out to feed the body, to ensure that the oxygen level is not too low, and at the same time to use drugs to maintain maintain the ductus arteriosus. These procedures help maintain the body’s nourishment during the period of birth and waiting for surgery for the baby.

After being intervened and resuscitated immediately after birth, the baby had a severe neonatal infection that required aggressive anti-infective treatment to ensure surgery.

On the 10th day after birth, the baby was operated by the doctor and repaired all the damage in the heart. From the time the baby was born until the surgery and the severe stage after surgery, all fell during the time of the strong outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, so the hospital flexibly mobilized personnel from the Covid treatment hospital to participate in saving lives. this newborn baby. The surgery took place successfully with the interdisciplinary coordination between the Cardiology Center and the neonatology department, Anesthesia and Cardiovascular Resuscitation. The surgery repaired the congenital inversion of the two great arteries, returning the structure and physiology of the heart to normal.

After surgery, the baby was treated for more than a month for neonatal and postoperative infections. Fortunately, the baby is now recovering well, the infection is gone, and the heart is working well.

“The first pressure when treating this case is that the baby is too young and the intervention procedures must be carried out soon after the baby is born, this baby also has a severe neonatal infection. The second pressure. This is a case that took place during a time when Covid-19 broke out strongly, it was difficult to mobilize human resources,” said Doctor Khang.

According to statistics of the World Health Organization (WHO), 8 out of every 1,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect. There are more than 50 types of congenital heart disease, to achieve treatment results need individual planning for each child. Some children only need monitoring or medical treatment, but there are cases where intervention or surgery is required.

“During pregnancy, pregnant women need to have regular check-ups according to the schedule to capture the development of the fetus and promptly handle any abnormalities,” the doctor recommended.

Baby surgery team. Photo. Hospital provides

Le Cam


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