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Baby born with heart outside chest shifted to NICH

KARACHI: On Thursday, a baby born in Qatar Hospital was shifted to the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) to treat the rare ectopia cordis malformation he suffers in which his heart projects outside thorax. This is the first case of its kind according to the medical community in Sindh.

On Wednesday, the child born to a resident of Orangi Town, the wife of Wajid Asghar, evening was shifted to the NICH hours later as the Qatar hospital required proper skill to look after him.

“The boy has been kept in an incubator in the NICH nursery for a day,” said Dr Arshad Domki, deputy director at the NICH.

Dr Arshad added that the baby would be moved to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on Friday. “We have talked to NICVD officials for the transfer of the child to them tomorrow since our hospital has no facility for cardiac surgery,” said Dr Domki.

By far, said the NICH official, the hospital staff had found the baby as overweight and in good health. “He is healthy with apparently no respiratory problem.”

But this was a rare case as no one in the medical community had ever claimed of witnessing any such case. “We have seen such a case for the first time. It must be a rare disorder in the world,” said the NICH doctor.

NICVD officials said they had got communication from the NICH about the child with his heart beating outside his chest.

“We have been informed by the NICH officials about that child,” Dr Hameedullah Malik, adviser to the NICVD director, told Dawn.

“Our surgeons will examine the baby tomorrow when he will be formally handed over to our doctors,” he said.

The primary and main thing that doctors would look at would be to determine whether the boy’s heart was healthy or that too required treatment, he added.

“We can’t say anything concrete at this stage. Anything about the possible treatment of the child and chances of his survival can only be deliberated upon after he goes under a detailed examination,” said Dr Malik.

Separately from heart surgeons, plastic surgeons could also get involved in the child’s surgery if it was required, he said.