‘Nothing can be done for heart baby’

2011-10-31 14:17

No further tests will be conducted on an Eastern Cape baby boy born with his heart outside his chest, the provincial health department said today.

“Doctors have found out that the heart has no chambers, and no further clinical tests will be done,” said spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

“The heart is so deformed, some of the veins are under developed. There is nothing that can be done for the baby, based on the clinical analysis.”

Kupelo declined to say what the diagnosis meant for the boy’s chances of survival.

In a similar case last year, Ashleigh Louw was born in Johannesburg on January 9 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 in Johannesburg.

Kupelo said the Eastern Cape baby would remain in Dora Nzinga Hospital in Port Elizabeth.

The baby was born at home last week Monday, and his 17-year-old mother was rushed to the Dora Nzinga Hospital.

The baby went for an emergency operation at the Dora Nzinga Hospital on Tuesday.

A piece of skin was put around the heart to protect it while further tests were being done, he said.

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

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