Bengaluru: City doctors save new-born baby from 'spontaneous pneumothorax'

Aster CMI hospital
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Aster CMI hospital

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Doctors from the neonatal unit of Aster CMI hospital saved the life of a newborn from Chikkaballapur who was diagnosed with a rare condition of spontaneous pneumothorax.

Bengaluru: Doctors from the neonatal unit of Aster CMI hospital saved the life of a newborn from Chikkaballapur who was diagnosed with a rare condition of spontaneous pneumothorax.

The baby was born in a peripheral setup and did not suffer from any complications during delivery. But soon after delivery, he developed sudden breathing difficulty and his skin and lips turn blue due to lack of oxygen. The chest X-ray showed that he had developed spontaneous pneumothorax. Spontaneous pneumothorax is a life-threatening condition and needs immediate medical attention. Delaying treatment can cause severe damage to the lungs which can lead to death. In most cases, Spontaneous Pneumothorax shows severe symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, cyanosis, rapid heart rate, nasal flaring, and cardiorespiratory arrest.

Doctors tried to drain the air with a needle but his lungs continued to re-accumulate. Unable to help the patient, they referred the patient to Aster CMI Hospital. An expert team of neonatal doctors led by Parimala V. Thirumalesh and neonatologists Dr Sreekanth Reddy and Dr Abhinay performed the timely procedure that saved his life.

"Spontaneous pneumothorax in newborns occurs rarely with an incidence of 2.5 per 1000 births and immediate treatment should be given to relieve the pressure created by air accumulation on the normal lung to help it to re-expand and continue breathing function, which if not done quickly could turn lethal. To remove the excess air, Raju underwent immediate needle aspiration a diagnostic procedure that also buys time from the imminent crash while preparing to insert a small flexible chest tube between the ribs into the air-filled space that is pressing on the collapsed lung. The baby was connected to a breathing machine (mechanical ventilator) till his lungs were ready to take over his breathing. He was then evaluated for infection and other causes of respiratory distress and treated with supportive measures. CT scan was done to rule out if he was born with any lung problems like cysts which can rupture and cause his problem in which case it can recur later in life but the scan was normal. The treatment went well and Raju recovered from the surgery." said Dr Parimala V Thirumalesh, Senior Consultant – Neonatology & Paediatrics at Aster CMI Hospital.

Post the delicate surgery, the baby recovered quickly and his condition improved significantly. He was ventilated for five days. His chest drain was also removed on the same day as the pneumothorax had sealed and he was taken off oxygen on the sixth day. The patient was discharged from the hospital with no complications.

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