UAE: Doctors save baby's life in complex, nearly 'impossible' surgery

The infant spent nearly ten months in paediatric intensive care before undergoing the rare procedure


A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 4 Oct 2022, 5:34 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 2:17 PM

A baby born with abnormal lungs, fluid build-up in his abdomen, and a cyst in his left lung was saved by doctors at a hospital in Sharjah.

Doctors at Al Qassimi Women and Children’s Hospital in Sharjah, part of Emirates Health Services, saved the life of an infant who suffered from a rare congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation condition after his premature birth.

The case was supervised by an integrated multidisciplinary team that consisted of staff from the following departments: paediatric intensive care, pulmonology, paediatric surgery, ear, nose and throat, anaesthesia, neurology, heart, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as infectious diseases specialists and the nursing, physiotherapy and rehabilitation staff at the hospital.

The premature baby’s rare condition was examined through an early ultrasound scan during pregnancy. At birth, he required intubation, resuscitation, and mechanical ventilation – in addition to being placed for six and a half months in the neonatal intensive care unit, where he suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which eventually developed into chronic lung disease.

He was further diagnosed with lung hypoplasia and congenital pulmonary airway malformation in the left lung, with pulmonary hypertension.

The medical team utilised neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) technology – an innovative form of technology that eliminates high-frequency ventilation support and makes surgery for the affected lung possible. This is particularly miraculous considering the surgery was classified as almost 'impossible' due to the seriousness and complexity of the infant’s situation.

Two weeks after regulation through NAVA, the decision was made to remove the abnormal cystic left lung – despite the high risks during surgery, and the possibility of death during and after surgery.

The infant was subjected to a comprehensive, multi-stage treatment plan after the surgery. This enabled the medical team to follow up on his condition around the clock and address post-operative complications such as pneumothorax, blood infections, and hypoxia by resorting to expert and advanced medical techniques that contributed to his recovery.

The baby spent nearly ten months in neonatal and paediatric intensive care, with specific medication regimens, before undergoing the complex surgery.

He was finally discharged from the hospital with minimal oxygen and respiratory support.


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