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November 29, 2021

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2 newborns saved at locked down hospital

Doctors at Shanghai Xinhua Hospital saved a premature one-month-old girl with an extremely low birth weight and congenital heart disease during lockdown for medical screening.

The girl, who was rushed by an ambulance from Hangzhou in neighboring Zhejiang Province to Xinhua on Friday, was the younger of a pair of twin girls delivered at 32 weeks of pregnancy. She was only 1,050 grams upon delivery.

During a check 20 days after delivery due to breath shortness, Hangzhou doctors found she had serious aortic coarctation. The aorta is the main channel to transport blood for the heart. The problem can cause abnormal blood supply all over the body, especially the lower part.

The girl was sent to Hangzhou Children’s Hospital, which is a member of Xinhua’s network in the Yangtze River Delta region. The network has a green channel for transfer of patients.

The Hangzhou hospital informed Xinhua upon receiving the girl for consultation.

“We are closely following the child’s condition,” said Dr Chen Sun, director of Xinhua’s heart center. “Usually congenital heart disease surgery is conducted while the child is 4 to 5 kilograms for safety.

“The girl’s weight was too low, so we wanted to conduct the surgery after she gained enough weight. But she started showing more serious symptoms. So we arranged the surgery.”

The girl was rushed to Xinhua on Thursday. After checks, doctors arranged the surgery.

Xinhua began closed-loop management on Friday noon. The patient had a sudden collapse and was revived in the ICU on Friday night.

Surgery was the only chance for her. Since the parents were not with her due to the lockdown, doctors launched a green channel and reporting process for the emergency surgery on Saturday morning.

The 1,800-gram girl had the surgery, which was very risky due to her low weight, young age and unstable condition.

Her blood vessels were very thin, as the thickest part of the aorta was only 4 millimeters. Doctors used sutures slimmer than hair to reconstruct the vessels and save the girl’s life with the 2-hour surgery.

The girl is now stable.

Meanwhile, doctors at Xinhua also conducted an emergency surgery on a newborn girl with a congenital intestinal deformity while the hospital was in lockdown.

A woman in the 35th-week of pregnancy went to Xinhua one week ago, as a prenatal check at another hospital found serious expansion in the fetus’ intestinal canal. Experts estimated it was congenital digestive tract closure.

Concerned the fetus’ condition was becoming serious, doctors suggested the woman deliver the baby in the 36th week of pregnancy. They would then conduct surgery.

The delivery was scheduled for Friday and the process started well under schedule. However, the hospital received orders to carry out a lockdown for medical screening.

The girl was delivered at 5pm on Friday. She was sent to ICU for checks and evaluation immediately. Doctors found where the intestine was blocked. The intestinal canal has bulged to 4-5 centimeters, requiring immediate surgery, which was launched at midnight and finished at 2:30am. The baby is stable.

Xinhua lifted the lockdown at 6pm on Saturday.


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