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Artificial lung saves the life of a new born at Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre in Chennai

Artificial lung saves the life of a new born at Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre in Chennai

The infant, as reported by the doctors at the medical centre was diagnosed with aspirated meconium, which led them to use the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) procedure similar to heart-lung machine

A new born baby girl at Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre, a city hospital in Chennai was immediately shifted to neonatal intensive care unit as she had breathing difficulties right after her birth. Her medical condition is termed as aspirated meconium, where the infant had inhaled a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid (the fluid in which the baby floats inside the womb).

In what is claimed as for the first time in the country, doctors the Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre used artificial lung for the baby girl weighing 2.8 kg as she struggled to breathe soon after birth, a hospital release confirmed.

Additional reporting by PTI

“We had to use the best ventilator strategies and a special gas called Nitric Oxide, in addition to supporting the heart and other systems, but we realised the lungs were worsening. We needed to take over the function of the lung and give it a rest in order to help it recover”, Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre, Head-Neonatology, Dr Binu Ninan said. “We used the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) procedure which is similar to heart-lung machine, used to do the function of heart and lung using an artificial pump and membrane outside the body during heart surgery”, she said. “ECMO procedure is practiced among babies and children who have severe lung failure due to pneumonia.

It has never been successful in newborn babies with lung failure in India”, Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre Head-Cardiothoracic Surgery Dr T Periasamy said. “A delay of even a few hours could have been fatal. We had to counsel the parents about the procedure..”, he said, adding, a team comprising cardiac surgeons, cardiologist, perfusionist and neonatologists performed the procedure. The baby had been discharged after a month’s stay in the hospital, it said.

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