Artemis Hospital offers free treatment to children with congenital heart disease
Over the last two months, 17 babies from Haryana have been treated under this initiative
There are handfuls of centres in the country that are doing Paediatric Cardiac Procedures. Surgery for these complex heart problems in babies is only available in a few advanced multi-speciality hospitals and due to the dearth of information people from far off areas and remote villages struggle to get treatment for their child.
Making this difficult situation worse, the country was hit by ‘Covid Pandemic’. Amidst the gloomy situation of COVID-19 in the country, Artemis Hospitals started receiving calls from all over North India for possible help in the treatment. Taking the alarming situation into cognizance, the hospital started a special helpline ‘Artemis Hospitals - Paediatric Heart Surgery Helpline which provides 24x7 guidance and help to families that have kids with heart disease. Artemis Hospitals also took an initiative to provide financial aid to the families belonging to low socio-economic status to ease the burden on the families.
Over the last two months, Artemis Hospitals has provided free treatment to more than 30 babies from various states and cities across North India. Out of these, 17 babies from the state of Haryana have received treatment under this initiative.
According to a report, 8 in every 1000 babies in India are born with a heart defect. Haryana has a population of about 2.1 crores and Birth Rate in the state has 20.9/ 1000 population whereas the infant mortality is about- 33/1000 births. This means that approximately 4,40,000 babies are born every year in Haryana out of which 4000 babies are expected to be born with heart disease. Amongst these, about 30 percent suffer from a critical heart ailment and require life-saving surgery before they turn a year old. On an average, there is a 10-25% risk of death if the treatment of a baby with heart disease is delayed for about one year.
"It is important to understand that even during the Pandemic; babies with Congenital Heart Disease are being born, need urgent treatment, and are at a much higher risk of dying due to our ongoing war with the ‘COVID Virus’. This is probably the most vulnerable time for these children. The treatment that was already sparsely available is now even more difficult to get, financial resources have dried up, there is a virus spreading that has consumed every possible healthcare resource,” says Dr Aseem Ranjan Srivastava - Head Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Artemis Hospital.
He further adds, “We at Artemis Hospitals realized the situation and decided to support these families by providing the best possible treatment along with financial support to assist it. We are happy that in the last couple of months, Artemis Hospitals has been able to treat more than 30 kids from different states and cities”
Parents of one-year-old Riya (name changed) from Jajjhar reached out to Artemis Hospitals through the special helpline number. The child was having difficulty in breathing and was known to have a heart condition (Tetralogy of Fallot). To avoid hassle and other challenges amid the COVID environment, the family was waiting for the situation to get normal. Unfortunately, her situation started deteriorating and while still at home, she started suffering severe breathing difficulty and her skin color would turn deep blue. When she was brought at Artemis Hospital, her saturation was down to 55% (deeply blue) and underwent an urgent open-heart surgery.
Similarly, a one-day-old baby born to a couple of Rewari had a very complex heart condition – Transposition of Great Arteries (TGA) and was born very blue. The situation was critical and required immediate treatment within a few days of birth because the delay in treatment is usually fatal for babies with this heart condition.
These kids are returned to their family now and are expected to lead a near-normal life- except for a little scar on their chest that will tell stories of a ‘Fearless child’ that was born with a life-threatening heart condition, in the era of the COVID monster – but fought and survived.