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Adcanced System to Save Newborn's Life
Updated:2018-03-20 16:25:00
A newborn boy has survived a life-threatening congenital defect at a hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, after receiving support using a technique known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for a record 40 days.
The baby was diagnosed with a hernia of the diaphragm, or CDH, at Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center in the 23rd week of his mother's pregnancy.
The condition involves a malformation of the diaphragm that allows abdominal organs to push into the chest cavity, hindering proper lung formation, according to Zhong Wei, director of the center's neonatal surgical department.
Organs pushing into the chest cavity cause the left lung to be undersized and shove the heart to the right side, which hinders formation of the right lung, doctors said at the time. The lung malfunction then affects heart function.
Four cross-departmental discussions before the infant's birth pointed to his chance of survival in the range of 11 percent to 50 percent, and a high possibility of the need for outside blood oxygenation, or ECMO.
When he was born on Jan 18, the boy suffered shortness of breath, with blood oxygen saturation of only 40 percent of normal levels, even with the best ventilator available.
Three hours after his birth, he was put on ECMO, which provides prolonged cardiac and respiratory support by allowing blood to exit the body through a tube. It is then oxygenated and returned to the body through another tube.
With ECMO support, surgeons were able to repair the boy's diaphragm and place the dislocated organs back into the abdomen. They also repaired a problem with his intestines.
After the operation was finished, doctors had to address a number of complex and overlapping conditions, said Cui Yanqin, director of the center's cardiac intensive care unit.


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