India’s Youngest, Seventeen Months Baby, Gets an Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) Implant

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Genesis Foundation today announced the successful implant of Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) on a seventeen-month-old baby boy, Thomas (name changed), who became the youngest child in India to get an ICD implant via an open chest surgery. The support from their CSR partner, Wipro GE Healthcare, a leading global medical technology and digital solutions innovator, provided the family with the required financial assistance and saved the budding little heart. He was operated on July 22 by Dr. Vijayakumar, Director-Centre for Paediatric Congenital Heart Disease at G Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital (GKNM Hospital), Coimbatore.

The surgery is one-of-its-kind – since in general cases the ICD device implant is done inside the heart via open heart surgery, but owing to Thomas’ age, the device was placed on his heart. The baby was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect known as Long QT Syndrome, a rare heart defect where an abnormal cardiac rhythm is experienced due to a delay in the electrical impulses triggering the heart to beat. This leads the patient to recurring syncope (loss of consciousness), which can lead to sudden death due to cardiac arrest. In such cases, an Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator or an ICD device can help regulate the heart’s electrical impulses and stabilize the patient. 

“Thomas survived four episodes of syncope before the surgery. He was fortunate enough to survive them all but another one could have been fatal. This baby proved to be a brave little heart to undergo such major surgery and recover at a good pace. Together we have enabled him to live a near-normal life,” said Dr. Vijayakumar, Padiatric Cardiac Surgeon, GKNM Hospital, Coimbatore.

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