Landmark Success: Healthy Birth Achieved After Groundbreaking In Utero Heart Repair

01/02/2024

Landmark Success: Healthy Birth Achieved After Groundbreaking In Utero Heart Repair

Following the first-ever fetal heart intervention in Vietnam, a healthy baby boy weighing 2.9 kg was joyously delivered at Tu Du Hospital after 37 weeks of pregnancy. The cesarean section performed by BS.CK2 Tran Ngoc Hai, Director of Tu Du Hospital, revealed that the baby cried loudly and did not require respiratory support, exceeding initial expectations.

The baby is placed skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest in the cesarean room. Photo: Provided by the hospital

On January 30, the neonatal resuscitation teams of Tu Du Hospital and Children’s Hospital 1 collaborated to assess the baby’s health immediately after birth. Despite expectations of potential respiratory support, the baby cried robustly, demonstrating good health. An ultrasound performed in the operating room confirmed adequate blood flow through the previously narrowed area of the baby’s heart.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, Deputy Director of Children’s Hospital 1, expressed motivation to continue fetal interventions upon witnessing the emotional moment of the pregnant woman holding her healthy baby during skin-to-skin contact.

The baby will undergo evaluations and heart condition assessments at Children’s Hospital 1, with a congenital heart disease treatment plan to follow.

The baby was born rosy and healthy, not turning blue and having difficulty breathing as feared. Photo: Provided by the hospital

This landmark achievement marks one of the first two fetal heart interventions in Vietnam, conducted collaboratively by medical professionals from Children’s Hospital 1 and Tu Du Hospital. The second pregnant woman, more than 31 weeks pregnant, has shown positive development in the fetus and cardiovascular condition without worsening. She has been discharged for regular follow-up examinations.

While fetal intervention presents impressive results, it involves potential risks during and after surgery, such as hemopericardium, slow heart rate leading to cardiac arrest, premature labor, and premature rupture of membranes. Nevertheless, the technique prevents the serious progression of heart issues, leveraging the fetus’s self-repairing stem cells to increase the likelihood of a healthy birth.

Tang Chi Thuong, Director of the Department of Health in Ho Chi Minh City, commended the technique of fetal cardiac catheterization as a daring endeavor, acknowledging the need for precise expertise and coordination between hospitals. This groundbreaking technique has been nominated for the 2023 Vietnam Medical Achievement Award.

Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan expressed delight in a letter to the medical staff of the two hospitals, emphasizing the complexity and high expertise required for such interventions. She hopes that the success of these interventions will position Vietnam as a reliable destination for fetal congenital heart interventions on the global medical map.

Le Phuong

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