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Docs put baby’s heart in the right place

Born with her heart on the right instead of the left side of the chest and one left ventricle missing, she had only a month to live. But thanks to a surgical procedure at city-based SAL Hospital, 21-day-old Palak Goswami may live to see her first birthday.

After their newborn was diagnosed with a rare condition called dextrocardia, Jayendra and Shubha Goswami — who live in Bhavnagar — brought Palak to Ahmedabad. ‘‘Dextrocardia is an extremely rare condition that affects one in every 10,000 babies around the world,’’ said Bhavnagar paediatrician Dr Naresh Gohil, who had made the diagnosis.

‘‘If she had not been operated upon, she would have died in a month’s time,’’ he said.

‘‘Not only was her heart in the wrong position, it also was one ventricle short. Ventricles are the two lower chambers of the heart that pump blood into the arteries. The pulmonary artery which carries blood to the lungs was also defective. The single ventricle meant that pure and impure blood were mixing in the newborn’s heart. As the heart was not functioning properly, the lungs were not receiving enough oxygen, taking Palak’s chances of survival pretty low,’’ said Dr Gohil.

‘‘A normal person’s oxygen saturation level is around 95-99 per cent. Palak’s was hovering around 45 per cent. This means, she was receiving only half the required amount of oxygen,’’ said Dr Shaunak Shah of SAL Hospital, who performed the procedure last week.

‘‘BT shunt surgery involves making an incision between two arteries, one of which leads to the neck and the second leads to the lungs. Once the two are connected, a new pathway for oxygenated blood to the lungs is formed,’’ said Dr Shah, adding last week’s operation was only to temporararily enable her lungs to function properly.

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