‘Over 2L kids born with heart defects annually’

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 27 September 2018

Talking about the surgery, Dr Pradeep Kaushik, Senior Cardiac Surgeon at Narayana Health SRCC Children’s Hospital, where the surgery took place, identified the child with abnormal function of the heart.

Pune: With a population in excess of 1.2 billion, and nearly 2,20,000 children born annually with heart defects, it translates into the fact that India has the largest burden of congenital heart defects in the world, doctors said. 

The Indian Academy of Pediatrics has identified birth defects of the heart as a major contributor to infant deaths in the states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

A 14-year-old recently underwent ‘Intracardiac repair of tetralogy of Fallot with Bentall operation’. It is a new procedure, probably used for the first time in India for cardiac surgery, which involves composite graft replacement of aortic valve, aortic root and ascending aorta.

Talking about the surgery, Dr Pradeep Kaushik, Senior Cardiac Surgeon at Narayana Health SRCC Children’s Hospital, where the surgery took place, identified the child with abnormal function of the heart.

“We adopted the Bentall procedure, which is a cardiac surgery operation involving composite graft replacement of the aortic valve, aortic root and ascending aorta, with re-implantation of the coronary arteries into the graft. This operation is used to treat combined aortic valve and ascending aorta disease. This is happening for first time in the world since there is no past history on record in medical journals worldover of such combined successful operations,” said Dr Kaushik. 

He further added that the current comprehensive pediatric heart programmes in India are insufficient to take care of the massive national burden. “Plus, most of these are in the private sector, with a limited capacity to subsidise costs of care. Generally, parents lack in healthcare awareness and the need of the hour is of quality health care and treatment for children,” said Dr Kaushik.

Dr Supratim Sen, a senior paediatric cardiac surgeon at the hospital said that these innocent children need immediate medical attention and due to their financial challenges, they are not able to get treatment.

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