Delhi doctors save 2-yr-old with cardiac arrest post-Covid

Doctors here have given a new lease of life to a two-year-old boy who suffered cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure post a Covid infection.

Rahul (name changed) had recovered from Covid in December last year, but later began suffering persistent cough and breathing problems.

He was brought to doctors at Aakash Healthcare, with high fever and breathing problems in mid January.

The infant went into cardiac arrest minutes after arriving at the hospital and was saved after 30 minutes of CPR.

The child was also diagnosed with a severe case of bronchiolitis (viral pneumonia), which has led to pneumopericardium – a rare condition where the sac around the heart is affected due to the damaged lungs.

In such a case, the lungs burst, as a result of infection, leading to a drop in blood pressure due to air around the heart and causing the heart to function poorly.

“Within minutes of arriving at the hospital, the child had a heart arrest. Further examinations revealed that he had developed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare disorder in which his own body was killing multiple organs,” Dr Sayed Mustafa Hasan, Senior Consultant and Head, Paediatrics and Neonatology, at Aakash.

As a result, the lungs, heart, brain and kidneys had suffered considerable damage.

The baby was even unable to pass urine, putting him in a severe condition. He was also experiencing speech difficulty and loss of eye contact with others as a result of the post-Covid effects.

The doctors immediately began Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) after recovering him with CPR, removing all waste material from his body.

“The therapy continued non-stop for 60 hours. To eliminate infections, we employed the cytosorb dialysis filter. We also worked to normalise his blood pressure,” Hasan said.

Rahul spent 15-16 days in the ICU ward on a ventilator.

During this time, a team of specialists attempted to restore his kidneys, heart and lungs to normal function. Along with CRRT, he was also given haemodialysis and perinoteal dialysis to remove the infection.

His condition improved over a month, and he was eventually discharged, the doctors said.

“Rahul’s heart, lungs and kidneys were not functioning when he was brought to us. It’s a very rare case and less than 1 per cent of the kids suffer from such severe infection leading to multiple organ dysfunction,” said Dr. Neha Bhandari, Consultant, Paediatrics Nephrology, Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka.

Sudden cardiac arrest is rare in children, but it can happen. Hence, all children need regular check-up visits with their doctor, the doctors advised.

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