Pune: Born prematurely in the 26th week of pregnancy with a birth weight of 600 grams, an infant from the city got a new lease of life with intra-pulmonary stem cell therapy. The baby at the time of birth developed severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) which is a form of chronic lung disease that affects newborns and was saved by a multidisciplinary team of experts at the Surya Mother and Child Care Superspeciality Hospital in Wakad.
The baby presented as one of the most complicated cases to the team, which successfully performed intra-pulmonary stem cell therapy to save his life. The boy, now 10 months old, is doing well after going through all critical health problems.
The infant, at the time of his birth, was suffering from severe respiratory distress, infections, anaemia, and low platelet counts. It was a big challenge for the medical team to save the boy as he had already developed severe BPD. He was transferred to this hospital on July 24, last year.
Dr Nandkishor Kabra, Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Surya Mother and Child Care Superspeciality Hospital who led a multidisciplinary team said that this is the first report of the use of this therapy in such a young baby.
Parents and extended family members were counselled about the baby’s condition. The infant had completed 43 weeks and achieved two kg weight by October 24, 2018.
The parents were told about the option of stem cell therapy for the management of severe BPD as a last possible option by Dr Kabra.
At this point of time, after counselling with parents, we decided to go ahead with the therapy given in the lungs through a breathing tube for the treatment of BPD. Infant tolerated the procedure well. The infant was monitored for any reactions and an increase in ventilatory settings followed by administration of stem cell therapy. His overall condition was examined through various tests which started giving signs of improvement, explained Dr Bhupendra Avasthi, paediatrician, MD, and Founder of Surya Hospitals.
Dr Kabra said that caring this baby boy after the procedure was a herculean task. After eight and a half months of birth, the infant was finally discharged home with home oxygen therapy on March 11 this year with a weight of 4.67 kg. The infant is being followed up in OPD regularly by the multi-disciplinary team and appears to be improving with each passing month.