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Kenyan baby with rare heart defect dies on flight to Chennai

The Chennai-bound IndiGo flight (6E) #431 left Mumbai airport on schedule yesterday morning with 150 passengers on board. About an hour later it was back, with 149 commuters and a body. Six-month-old Nubaid Fareed Ramzan, who was being taken to Chennai by his parents for a cardiac surgery, had expired en route. 

The infant from Kenya was suffering from left atrial isomerism, a rare congenital heart defect afflicting one newborn among a lakh.

“The flight to Chennai departed on time from Mumbai and was airborne by 10:31 am. However, the plane had to return due to a medical emergency on board involving an infant. The captain requested for a priority landing and an ambulance with a doctor on arrival. The crew performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the automated external defibrillator (AED) was also used to revive the pulse,” said a press statement issued by the airline.

When efforts were being made to revive the child, his mother informed the crew that he was being taken to Chennai for a cardiac surgery, as he had three holes in his heart. “IndiGo was not aware of the condition earlier,” said the airline spokesperson. The statement further added that the baby died on board.

Ramzan’s post-mortem was conducted in civic-run Cooper Hospital at Andheri.

Speaking to MiD DAY, a doctor from the medical institute confirmed that the deceased was suffering from left atrial isomerism. “The baby had a cardiovascular disorder due to which he suffered a heart failure a while after the plane took off,” said the medical officer who conducted the post-mortem.

The condition that the deceased was afflicted with is extremely rare. Such children suffer from multiple lesions in the heart, as the chambers and valves are wrongly connected. At times, patients have multiple holes in the heart. “If deoxygenated blood floods the lungs, the baby can turn blue and critical,” added the doctor.

Airport police have registered a case of accidental death. Also, the parents did not inform the airlines while boarding that their child was suffering from a congenital heart condition, which might require intervention or might worsen unpredictably at any moment, said the police.

According to investigating officer of airport police Shailesh Jogdand, the infant’s family members have not alleged negligence by the airlines or any other person, and that the body was sent for autopsy to Cooper Hospital.

Did you know?
Left atrial isomerism is a rare congenital heart defect which afflicts one newborn among a lakh 

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