Bengaluru: In a miraculous case, a specialised team of neonatologists from Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru carried out a novel technique – ‘Total Body Cooling’ procedure to save the life of a two-day-old newborn baby, who suffered a serious disturbance in the heart rhythm called neonatal supra ventricular tachycardia.
The NICU team at Motherhood Hospitals received an emergency call from Dr Srinivas from Hrudaya Hospital in Anantapur where a newborn baby girl was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) and was admitted in a critical state. SVT is a medical condition where the heart beats faster than normal (120-160 per minute). In this case, the baby’s heartbeat was almost double as compared to what is considered normal. The NICU team at Motherhood Hospitals left to retrieve the baby on ‘NICU on Wheels’, an all-encompassing high-end transport vehicle with all the NICU facilities used to transport newborn or critically ill babies.
The baby was shifted to Motherhood NICU on wheels and administered with three doses of adenosine to slow her heart rate down. Adenosine works by stopping the heart for a second or so and then restarting there by bringing the heart rate to normal. However, even after receiving adenosine, the heart rate did not slow down. The baby was given three more medicines as continuous infusion to reduce the heart rate. Meanwhile, investigations including cardiac echo, ECG, and blood tests were done to rule out other causes and ensure normal structure of the heart.
Seeing no signs of improvement, the medical team led by Dr Prathap Chandra, Neonatologist & Pediatrician, Motherhood Hospitals, decided to use the Total Body Cooling technique to lower the baby’s body temperature from 37-degree celsius to 33.5 degree celsius. This technique is commonly used in babies who do not cry after birth and whose brain does not receive sufficient oxygen. However, for a patient diagnosed with SVT, this was one of the first times, this technique was used. Cooling helped in significantly lowering the heart rate and bringing back the normal rhythm in the baby, thus saving her life. The newborn has now completely recovered and is hale and hearty, visiting for regular checkups.
Commenting on the efforts of the doctors, Vijayarathna Venkatraman, CEO, Motherhood Hospitals, said “Our patient’s health is our topmost priority, and we are proud of the fact that our team of expert clinicians and support staff were able to save the life of this child with their expertise”.
Dr Chandra added, “It was one of the most challenging cases and our only priority was to save the baby’s life. Since SVT is a condition that disrupts blood flow, to vital organs, cooling helped to reduce the basal metabolic rate, thereby reducing her heart rate. The baby is now almost 4 months old & has been regularly visiting for check-ups and has recovered well.”