ANC and Air India evacuate Nine Day Old Baby with Complex Heart Disease

Port Blair, Oct 11: Andaman and Nicobar Command along with Air India evacuated a nine day old baby of a Coast Guard officer, who was suffering from congenital heart disease and was on ventilator, from GB Pant hospital Port Blair to Army Hospital (Research & Referral) at New Delhi on 08 October 2018. The baby reached New Delhi in the afternoon and was operated early the next morning.
Medical Division of Coast Guard and the Indian Navy in consultation with INHS Dhanvantari charted out a comprehensive plan of medical evacuation of the baby. Surg Lt Cdr Manas Ranjan Mishra, Pediatrician carried out the arduous task of maintaining the ventilation of the baby manually for 6 hours continuously along with infusions of critical drugs, throughout the flight.
Earlier, the baby was brought to INHS Dhanvantari, the only defence hospital on the Island, on 6th Oct for jaundice. On examination the baby was suspected to have a rare condition of the arteries of the heart that causes no or very minimal oxygenation of the body, that could lead to sudden death. After initial management by the doctors at INHS Dhanvantari, the baby was shifted to GB Pant Hospital for support on mechanical ventilator.
The only treatment for this condition was immediate cardiac surgery and the same is available only at few highly specific pediatric cardiothoracic surgery centres throughout the country, the delicate mission of transferring the baby to Army Hospital (R&R) was considered. The requirement of continuous high flow of oxygen, mechanical/manual ventilation and multiple lifesaving critical infusions were a few challenges apart from the adaptation required to changes of altitude and pressure in the aircraft.
During the airlift of the baby, Air India extended whole hearted support by providing assistance during boarding and alighting, continuous monitoring of in-flight Oxygen and priority landing at Delhi. It represents the highest level of commitment and commendable efforts by the pilots, in-flight crew and ground staff of the National carrier.

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