Army surgeon operates upon one day old newborn amid COVID-19 pandemic

Chandigarh: Doctors at the Pathankot Military Hospital amidst fighting in the frontline against COVID-19 pandemic have performed an emergency lifesaving operation on a newborn baby.
According to an official release here on Saturday, one day old baby of a soldier born out of a caesarian section was suspected to have a rare congenital anomaly of the intestines (Hirschsprungs Disease) which had consequently developed intestinal block and perforation with contamination of abdomen with fecal material leading to Septic Infection.
Prompt diagnosis was made, but the condition of the baby was critical and he was not fit for transfer to the nearest pediatric surgery centre of the Armed Forces (Command Hospital, Chandimandir) which was six hours travel by road. Due to COVID-19 lockdown there was no pediatric surgeon available in the civil hospital of Pathankot.
Major Adil Abdul Kalam, Surgical Specialist of Pathankot Military Hospital, performed the intricate and challenging operation of opening up the abdomen of the new born baby who was on a ventilator, repairing of the tears in intestine and creation of stoma for diverting the stools.
This is for the first time in the Armed Forces Medical Services wherein such an intricate operation on a newborn is done at a zonal hospital with no Pediatric Surgeon, Pediatric Anesthesiologist or Neonatologist available.
The operation was performed in emergency, which if even delayed by few minutes could have resulted in exacerbation of multi organ failure, leading to death.
The doctor said that it was an extremely challenging and stressful task to manage the case in the absence of super specialty facilities. Performing the intricate surgery in the intestines of the newborn with associated generalized septic infection was technically arduous and grueling but the team of doctors and nurses effectively carried out the surgery and now the baby is out of ventilator, tolerating breast feeds and is on the way to healthy recovery, he added.