4-month-old saved from rare heart defect

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The Vietnam National Pediatrics Hospital in Hanoi announced on Monday it had used an unfamiliar technique for the first time to save a four-month-old baby from a rare case of inborn heart disease.

Nguyen Tra My from Ho Chi Minh City was rushed by air to Hanoi a month ago with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which has the left ventricle of the heart severely underdeveloped, Tien Phong reported.

Her two aorta were in disorder and could not circulate blood to other organs, and the right ventricle had to pump blood to both the lungs, and to the rest of the body, causing her heart serious problems.

My was then the first patient in Vietnam to be given the Norwood procedure.

Three days after the surgery, she was removed from her respirator but her condition quickly weakened six hours later and doctors had to perform another surgery.

Nguyen Thanh Liem, director of the Hanoi hospital, said the surgery's success was "unexpected."

American and French doctors were consulted regularly during the treatment.

My was first sent to a children's hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. When she was in Hanoi, a charity group proposed taking her to India and the US for treatment but she was too weak for the trip, said Liem.

The girl has been discharged but needs check ups every week and she will need two more surgeries, the first of which is scheduled for November.

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