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Wockhadt docs save child with hole, blockage in heart

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Patient Pushkaraj Sulunkhe with his parents

 Rohit Shishodia
Doctors at Mumbai’s Wockhardt Hospital have given a new lease of life to 9-year-old Pushkaraj Sulunkhe who suffered from Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), a hole in the heart, and complete heart blockage, by closing the hole through closure device and placing a pacemaker to tackle the heart blockage.

Not only was the child provided treatment but the hospital management also arranged the funds for his treatment. The child is now normal after the procedure and will be able to go to school regularly after 3 years.

The doctors said that due to complete heart blockage, the heart's natural pacemaker could not generate enough activity for normal functioning of the heart at rest and during activities. This predisposed the child to sudden death as the heart rate might drop way below the normal level.

Due to the ailments, the child couldn’t go to school regularly like other kids and would experience shortness of breath even if he walked a short distance. He would often feel fatigued, would suddenly become unconscious, and was dependent on his parents. Due to weakness, his weight reduced to 18 Kg.

The child came into contact with doctors of Wockhardt hospital in a health check-up camp in January 2019. The doctors noted that the child’s heart was showing signs of failure and there would be an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.

Dr. Manish Chokhandre, Pediatric Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospital, said that with the help of a closure device, the defect, or an opening between the right and left sides of the heart, was closed. Also, a dual chamber permanent pacemaker was fitted. Both procedures were done in one sitting.

Dr Chokhandre added that with pacemaker implantation, the child can do his activities as his heart rate will respond appropriately to his activity and prevent it from going below the dangerous level. He has improved immediately post procedure.

It is a rare occurrence that both the procedures (ASD closure and permanent pacemaker implantation) were carried out simultaneously in a pediatric patient. Now, he is fine and his quality of life has improved significantly.

“The condition was present since birth (congenital). The ASD occurs when the baby’s wall does not form properly during pregnancy. But, with the help of device closure and a dual chamber pacemaker implantation, in one sitting, Pushkaraj is fine now, and will be going to school regularly,” explained Dr. Chokhandre.


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