September 17, 2009

Baby born with protruding heart dies

An infant Indian boy, born with his heart outside his body, died in a New Delhi hospital two weeks after undergoing a rare surgery, doctors said.

We have lost him, said cardiothoracic surgeon A.K. Bisoi, who led a team of doctors in performing the surgery on the infant who was born Aug. 25, CNN reported. The condition, known as ectopia cordis, affects only five to eight children in 1 million births, doctors said.

An infection that had been brought under control prior to the Sept. 3 procedure recurred, killing the infant, Bisoi said.

The three-hour surgery involved easing the heart back into the baby's body. Part of the procedure involved replacing his infected blood and covering the heart with a synthetic membrane, CNN reported.

The boy was born in a village in eastern Bihar state and was brought to New Delhi, about 680 miles away, after a long train journey.

Doctors said he was admitted to the hospital suffering acute dehydration and an infection apparently resulting from the train journey.

Bisoi and other doctors undertook the surgery, hoping it would help them treat other patients with similar conditions, the report said.