Wadia Hospital Successfully Treated A 7-Month-Old Boy With Covid, 15 Cm Chest Tumor

The baby suffered from a rare teratoma tumor that affects 1 in 4,000 people

by Priya J

Mumbai: A team headed by Dr Pradnya Bendre, Professor, and Head Paediatric Surgery, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital, Parel gave a second lease of life to a 7-month-old boy who got infected with Covid-19, also suffered from a rare 15 cm teratoma tumor in the chest and was on a ventilator.  The boy has been reunited with his family after battling two major illnesses- Covid as well as the tumor growing in his chest.

Couple Sabir Shaikh ( laborer)  and his wife Zeenat, the residents of Bhagalpur district, Bihar were elated after the birth of their son  Mohammed Samad on September 16, 2020.  The couple’s happiness was short-lived as the baby would cry incessantly and encountered breathing problems when he was 2-months-old. Later, his health started deteriorating and he couldn’t accept the feeds, swallow food, and became weak. The worried parents consulted various local doctors who did a CT scan and diagnosed the boy with a chest tumor,  and referred the family to Wadia Hospital for further treatment.

Dr Pradnya Bendre, Professor, and Head Paediatric Surgery, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital, Parel, highlighted, "On arrival in an emergency on April 15, the boy was having severe breathing difficulties for breath, couldn’t accept the feeds, and kept crying. A detailed scan performed on him revealed that there was a huge rare tumor of 15 cm length in the anterior mediastinum that is the front of the heart occupying the entire chest and extending to both the thoracic cavity densely stuck to  atrium, aorta ( biggest artery in the body), and lung vessels. It affects 1 in 4,000 people , 1 to 4 % of these teratomas occur in anterior mediastinum which generally manifest in the second or third decade of life.”

Dr Bendre added, “Moreover, on admission, it was also confirmed that the patient was Covid positive, was on steroids and NIV (non-invasive ventilation) for 2 days. After aggressive Covid treatment and turning negative, the patient was scheduled to undergo clamshell thoracotomy. Then clamshell thoracotomy involves incision across the entire anterior chest from right to left to expose both the lungs and heart simultaneously. The surgery lasted for 5 hours and the patient was shifted to the ICU was on a ventilator for 6 days, and gradually weaned off the ventilator. After 12 days, the patient shifted to the general ward. He doesn’t require oxygen support now and tolerates feeds and is now ready to go home. He would have lost his life due to respiratory distress, if not treated at the right time. Now, he has been asked to come for regular follow-ups to monitor the recurrence of tumor, growth, development, and respiration.”

 “After the birth of our son, we were paranoid as he kept crying and was unable to breathe. We were shocked and numb after the baby was diagnosed with the tumor. His mother was inconsolable and has stopped eating food and gave up on her daily activities. We were helpless as local doctors refused to treat my son since the hospitals were not well-equipped to handle such complex cases. Fortunately, my son got timely treatment at Wadia Hospital. I thank doctors for helping my son to breathe freely again,” said the patient’s father Sabir Shaikh.

“Child was in severe respiratory distress needing immediate stabilisation as well extremely intricate and challenging surgery. Though his COVID positive status  complicated the scenario , it has neither stopped nor winced our team. We took right decisions at right time  without even thinking about his financial status and saved his life.Dedicated expertise and state of art facilities and patients blessings is our strength,hence in wadia we can manage anything and everything that sick child needs,” concluded Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of Wadia Hospital.

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