For the first time in armed forces medical history, doctors of the military hospital at Pathankot by performing an emergency surgery have saved the life of a day old baby who was suffering from the rare congenital anomaly of intestines (Hirschsprungs Disease).

The disease had consequently developed intestinal block and perforation with contamination of abdomen with faecal material leading to a septic infection.

The doctors in Pathankot Military Hospital amidst fighting against COVID-19 pandemic performed an emergency life-saving operation on a newborn baby.

Army’s spokesman, Lt. Colonel Devender Anand, said on Saturday that the one day old baby of a soldier born out of a caesarian section was suspected to have a rare congenital anomaly of intestines.

Prompt diagnosis was made, but the condition of the baby was critical and he was not fit for transfer to the nearest pediatric surgery centre of the Armed Forces, Chandimandir, due to COVID-19 lockdown there was no pediatric surgeon available in the civil hospitals of Pathankot.

Major Adil Abdul Kalam, surgical specialist of Pathankot Military Hospital performed the intricate and challenging operation of opening up the abdomen of the newborn baby who was on a ventilator, repairing of the tears in intestine and creation of stoma for diverting the stools.

This is for the first time in the Armed Forces Medical Services wherein such an intricate operation on a newborn has been performed at a zonal hospital with no pediatric surgeon, pediatric anesthesiologist or neonatologist, said Lt. Col. Anand.

The operation was performed in an emergency, which even if delayed by a few minutes could have resulted in exacerbation of multi-organ failure, leading to death. The doctor said that it was an extremely challenging and stressful task to manage the case successfully despite the absence of super-speciality facilities.

Performing the intricate surgery in the intestines of the newborn with associated generalized septic infection was technically arduous and gruelling but the team of doctors and nurses effectively carried out the surgery and now the baby is out of ventilator, tolerating breastfeeds and is on the way to a healthy recovery.