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Pune: In rare case, newborn survives severe Covid-19 after four weeks on ventilator

This kind of severe disease presentation had not been documented world over in preterm small babies, Dr Pradeep Suryawanshi, in charge of neonatology department at Bharati Hospital, told The Indian Express.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | August 18, 2020 11:04:24 pm
newborn survives, Covid cases, ventilator, Pune news, Indian express newsWhile he has presented the case to be featured in the reputed medical journal, Lancet, Dr Suryawanshi said the baby was preterm, weighing just 1.8 kg, and had difficulty breathing on the day of birth on July 12. (Photo: Getty Images)

In a rare case, a newborn survived a severe case of Covid-19 that required close to four weeks of ventilator support and a heavy dose of steroids.

This kind of severe disease presentation had not been documented world over in preterm small babies, Dr Pradeep Suryawanshi, in charge of neonatology department at Bharati Hospital, told The Indian Express.

While he has presented the case to be featured in the reputed medical journal, Lancet, Dr Suryawanshi said the baby was preterm, weighing just 1.8 kg, and had difficulty breathing on the day of birth on July 12.

“The baby was referred from a private hospital in Hadapsar and had to be put on a high-frequency ventilator for at least 16 days,” he said.

He also said the baby was detected with Covid-19 and X-Ray images showed widespread pneumonia in the lungs. A special gas, nitric oxide, was also used to help oxygen delivery, and all the blood investigations were suggestive of “cytokine storm”, while antibody test for Covid-19 was positive in baby as well as mother, he added.

Dr Suryawanshi said the baby was administered a high dose of steroids (methylprednisolone) for five days, following which gradual recovery began. The baby was on ventilator for 22 days, out of which 16 days were on the high-frequency ventilator, he added.

He further said the baby came off the ventilator on the 25th day after birth and, at this stage, CT scan of the chest showed some residual scarring (fibrosis) in the lungs, recently documented in adult patients making a recovery from severe Covid-19.

He said after a few days of oxygen therapy during the recovery process, the baby was discharged on the 35th day.

Mothers with Covid-19 and their babies had to go through a great deal of stress due to lack of knowledge about the disease and its transmission to babies in the initial stages, said Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director of Bharati hospital, adding that 36 Covid babies had been treated at the neonatal ICU.

Child aged 2.5 wins battle against liver cancer

A child, aged two-and-a-half, from Sinnar in Nashik has successfully fought liver cancer. The boy was diagnosed with a 15-cm tumour in his liver, following which his parents sought treatment at Sahyadri hospital in Pune. Dr Snehavardhan Pandey, head paediatric hepatologist and liver transplant physician of the hospital, said they started chemotherapy and approached different organisations for help. Dr Tushar Patil, consultant oncologist at Sahyadri, said, “It was a high-risk tumour and, hence, it was important to begin treatment without any delay. He received four cycles of chemotherapy every three weeks and tolerated them without any side effects. The child responded well. The size of the tumour decreased to 5 cm and tumour markers (alpha fetoprotein) came down from 6.6 lakh to 35. Like most cancers in children, this too has a good prognosis with more than 85 per cent long-term survival.” The treatment of the child was funded by a group, which is a movement bringing together citizens, social workers, medical professionals, and key decision makers under one roof.

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