New Delhi: Two new cases of infants born with their heart protruding out of their body have been recently brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which has a record in treating such patients.
"In the past one week we have received two children in our department who are born with their heart outside the body. While one child has a heart on the neck, the other has it on the chest," Dr AK Bisoi, senior cardiac surgeon and additional professor at the cardiothoracic and vascular surgery department, AIIMS, said.
This birth defect in which the heart is abnormally located is scientifically known as Ectopia Cordis and in most cases the heart protrudes outside the chest through a split sternum and may be situated in the abdominal cavity or neck.
Dr Bisoi said this condition is usually fatal (in cases when the heart is not protected by the skin or sternum), in the first few days of life though in some cases surgical treatment is possible.
A team of doctors under the supervision of Dr Bisoi has successfully operated upon on a similar case earlier this year.
"We had operated upon a child with similar defect earlier this year. The child is doing well and comes regularly to the OPD for routine check-up. We are hopeful that we will be successful in the case of these two infants too who have been brought to us in the past one week," he said.
One of the two children was born in Madhya Pradesh on November 15, while the other was born in Bihar on November 10.
Doctors have decided to operate on them only after completing all investigations and ensuring that their condition has stabilised.
"They were brought to us in unhygienic conditions and as such they have contracted infection. They have to undergo a lot of screening and their condition needs to be stabilised first before we decide on when to to operate on them. Both weigh less than three kgs," he said.
A team of doctors from six different departments have been roped in to look into both the cases. They include paediatric surgeons, anaesthetists, paediatric cardiologists and paediatric medicine specialists.