CHENNAI: A three-month-old baby from Ranchi, born as preterm at 32 weeks, tested Covid-positive, a few days after birth. The baby developed post-Covid lung infection and abdominal infection. She underwent abdominal surgery within a month of birth in a private hospital in Ranchi, where most of her small intestine was removed.
Post-surgery, she was not tolerating milk and was shifted to a private hospital in Kolkata where she was totally dependent on intravenous nutrition. The baby was referred to Rela Hospital for paediatric intestinal rehabilitation.
She was airlifted with ventilator support in a critical condition last week from Kolkata to Rela Hospital, Chennai. The entire episode of airlifting happened seamlessly with due care and support of the Rela Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Kolkata Hospital. She came to Chennai in an air ambulance and was transported from the airport to Rela Hospital with the support of incubators in an ambulance.
After the initial assessment of length and functionality of the remaining intestine at Rela Hospital, the baby is now stable and undergoing intestinal rehabilitation. “Babies can loose small intestine due to a condition called necrotising enterocolitis (severe infection of intestine) and children can loose small intestine due to volvulus (twisting of intestine).
The affected part must be removed surgically and if large portion of the small intestine is removed, these children cannot absorb nutrition and would be totally dependent on intravenous nutrition,” said Dr Naresh Shanmugam, paediatric gastro and liver specialist, Rela Hospital. In this particular case, the baby was managed conservatively using various techniques and medications by the paediatric intestinal rehabilitation unit.