The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Veins set right to feed the heart
- Bypass hospital gifts life to child with blood vessel abnormality

When Mantu Yadav, all of 11 months old, was brought to the Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS) last month, the child was suffering from severe pneumonia, the oxygen count in his blood was dangerously low and pressure in his lungs very high. Septic and gasping for breath, he was sinking as doctors at the Bypass super-speciality heart hospital wheeled him into intensive care.

Mantu is one of those luckless kids, born with abnormal connections of veins, a congenital heart disease, not often diagnosed early. In his case, though, the problem was recognised all right, but when father Kamlesh Yadav, a jute mill worker in Howrah, took the ailing kid from one hospital to another in search of a cure, he repeatedly found himself at dead-ends.

None of the hospitals the Yadavs went to was ready to operate on the critical kid, saying it was too late, and that there was a very high risk of mortality. In the process, the child’s condition kept on deteriorating, till he was brought to RTIICS, where doctors performed an emergency operation on him. Now, after an open-heart surgery at the Mukundapur institute, Mantu is back home, well on the way to recovery.

Explaining the congenital condition, Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, cardiac surgeon and clinical director of RTIICS, said: “In a healthy individual, purified blood from the lungs goes to the left side of the heart. But, in cases like Mantu’s, due to the abnormal connections, this blood drains out to the right of the heart instead. The only treatment in this situation is surgery, which generally offers total cure.”

Raghuvanshi headed the team of doctors that conducted the surgery on Mantu after stabilising the medical condition of the “extremely critical” child. The procedure, called total anomalous pulmonary venous correction (TAPVC), successfully rechannelised the veins to carry the purified blood to the left side of the heart.

“It’s a pity that a lot of these patients come in a terminal stage, since the defect can be corrected with surgery if detected early and the child can live like a healthy individual,” laments the clinical director. The heart hospital has performed over 20 such surgical procedures till now to correct abnormal venous connections.

“The doctors have given Mantu a new lease of life when we had even stopped praying to god for the suffering child,” says uncle Ram Kumar Yadav, tears of joy and relief in his eyes, as the child plays in his mother’s arms.

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