BABY GIRL WEIGHING JUST 520 GRAMS BECOMES TINIEST IN SOUTH ASIA TO SURVIVE MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY
A tale of courage & fight by extremely low birth weight baby ( weighing only 520 grams), 12 days old who underwent critical abdominal surgery at Jivanta Children’s Hospital, Udaipur. Her name is Jhanvi, and she is the smallest baby ever operated and survived not just in India but in the whole of South Asia.
The baby girl, Jhanvi, was born to proud parents Umesh and Madanlal Arya, hailing from Nijampur Magrouni, Dist- Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh. It’s the greatest gift from God to see their four months old survive the odds and come home from the Neonatal ICU at Jivanta Children’s Hospital, Udaipur.
Conceived after 29 years of marriage by IVF technique. Her pregnancy was carried up to 26 weeks when her blood pressure was uncontrollable, and the ultrasonography revealed severe growth restriction and reversal of blood flow to the fetus. Because the blood flow to the baby was decreasing, she was taken up for an emergency cesarean section.
Jhanvi was born prematurely just at 26 weeks of pregnancy (Normal pregnancy duration 40 weeks) on Feb 13, 2018. At birth, she was just about the size of your palm. This baby was very precious and the only hope for the family. The baby was handled and looked after in the Jivanta Children’s Hospital- Neonatal ICU with precise care under Chief Neonatologist Dr. Sunil Janged, Dr. Nikhilesh Nain, Dr. Kapil Shrimali and trained nursing team. She was struggling to breathe, so was immediately put on a ventilator and given medicines to expand his tiny, immature lungs.
Dr. Sunil Janged said “ There was progressive distention of her abdomen along with greenish aspirates and we were not able to start feeds. We tried all sorts of medical therapy, on day 12 of life baby deteriorated so severely, developed tense abdominal distention, a skin of abdomen was turning bluish, heartbeats and blood pressure started dropping. Investigations showed grossly dilated intestines with infection. Her body system was shutting down. We knew that baby wouldn’t give us much time, so an operation was the only resort left to us. Major surgery on such a tiny baby with such poor condition was very much challenging and challenging scenario for our team. But this baby was the only hope for the family. Pediatric surgeon Dr. Praveen Jhanwar, anesthetic Dr. Suresh and OT staff carried out emergency abdominal surgery under general anesthesia which lasted for 1 ½ hours.
Dr. Praveen said –“ She was smaller than my hand when we operated on her. The intestines were grossly distended and started turning black. Majority of intestine filled with thick meconium [stool]. The meconium was so thick and organized [Meconium ileus] causing intestinal obstruction. We could not remove it out by milking the intestines. So we had to cut the intestine and remove it. Her organs were so delicate and fragile that as soon as we started operating, even with our small instruments, everything started to bleed and fall apart. An intestinal wall was not able to take the sutures. Dead tissue removed, the abdomen thoroughly washed, and the wall closed with a lot of difficulties. “
Dr. Sunil Janged further said that she would have been dead without the surgery. It's a very tedious job to operate such a small baby weighing only 520 grams as babies born this small have an extremely poor function of all body organs like heart, lungs, brain, and kidney. It’s like walking on a two edge sword.
POSTOPERATIVE HEALTH BULLETIN OF BABY
Dr. Sunil Janged informed that post-operative course was like a rollercoaster. During this period, a baby had a tube passed through his nose to drain off the contents of intestines. The baby kept nil by mouth for ten days. We had to start the baby on total parenteral nutrition, which means giving all the essential nutrients such as amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, multivitamins and trace elements directly into blood circulation. There have been a lot of hurdles, infections, blood transfusions along the way. Regular screening of heart & brain were performed to rule out any bleeding in the brain.
Gradually started with few drops of milk through a tube and slowly feeds increased. This small baby required respiratory support for about 54 days. She was able to digest milk after one month and started drinking from spoon only after about 3 ½ months of birth.
In all, she was in the NICU for almost 117 days, and today her weight was close to 2110 grams. By far the progress and clinical course in the NICU were very satisfactory.Her brain is structurally normal, and eyes are also developing a standard.
Expressing her joy, Jhanvi's mother, Umesh exclaimed, “We had completely lost hope until we met the doctors at Jivanta Hospital. But we had full faith on the team as previously Jivanta Hospital had saved baby weighing just 400 grams. After going through so many odds, she finally is coming home. I am incredibly thankful to the team of experts at Jivanta Hospital who took immense care of her.
Senior Professor & Head Neonatology, Pune Dr. Pradeep Suryawanshi has examined published literature and spoken to pediatric surgical colleagues and says he believes she is the smallest baby to survive major abdominal surgery in India and the whole of South Asia. In the whole world, only 4-5 babies weighing less than 500 gms and who underwent major abdominal surgery have been survived to date. He said even with all care it entails very high mortality ranging from 60-80 %. As this baby was weighing only 520 grams, chances of survival were less than 10% in this case.
Dr. Sunil Janged
Director & Chief Neonatologist
Jivanta children Hospital, Udaipur