Baby gets op to cover heart

2011-10-25 10:47

An Eastern Cape baby born with its heart outside its chest went in for an emergency operation this morning, the provincial health department said.

“They [are] doing the operation to cover the exposed heart and then further clinical investigations will be conducted on the baby,” spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

A team of six doctors was taking part in the operation at a hospital in Port Elizabeth.

The baby’s 17-year-old mother gave birth at home yesterday before being rushed to Dora Nzinga hospital, said Kupelo.

In a similar case, Ashleigh Louw was born in January last year with her heart outside her chest, covered by only a thin layer of skin.

Doctors operated on her later that month.

She died on March 5 at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, south of Joburg.

The condition, known as Pentallogy of Cantrell, occurs in one in a million babies.

Last month, a baby was born with an exposed pancreas and was successfully operated on, said Kupelo.

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