Newborn boy was born with his heart OUTSIDE of his chest because of a rare medical condition that gives him a slim chance of survival
- Unnamed newborn has ectopia cordis, affects just one in 126,000 births
- The baby was delivered at a hospital in Haryana, north India, recently
- He was immediately rushed to intensive care, where his condition is ‘delicate’
Distressing pictures show a baby’s heart outside his body after he was born with a rare medical condition.
The unnamed newborn has ectopia cordis, which causes the vital organ to be either partially or fully outside of the chest.
The baby was delivered at a hospital in Haryana, north India. He was immediately rushed to intensive care, where his condition is ‘delicate’.
Ectopia cordis’ survival rate is just 10 per cent, with most babies dying within days from cardiac complications.
An unnamed baby was born with his heart outside his chest (seen left) in a rare condition called ectopia cordis. The newborn is pictured right in intensive care at a hospital in Haryana, north India. Doctors describe his state as ‘delicate’. Only 10 per cent with the condition survive
The exact cause of ectopia cordis is unclear, according to the Colorado Fetal Care Center.
The condition is more common in males than females. Figures suggest it affects just one in 126,000 births.
Most babies born with the condition have additional heart defects, as well as their other organs developing abnormally.
The condition can be diagnosed via ultrasound during the first trimester.
Most babies born with the condition have additional heart defects, as well as their other organs developing abnormally
Once the baby is born, emergency surgery is carried out to place the heart inside the body and close the chest cavity.
Doctors then build a sternum to protect the heart and repair any additional defects.
In December 2017, baby Vanellope Hope defied eight-in-a-million odds when she made it to three weeks old despite having ectopia cordis.
She was reportedly the size of a grape when doctors diagnosed the condition in the womb.
Her parents, Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, were told Vanellope’s chance of survival was ‘next to zero’. The couple dismissed advice to terminate the pregnancy.
Vanellope endured three major surgeries to put her heart inside her chest.
She was finally able to go home at 14 months old and is said to be the only known Briton to survive the condition.
WHAT IS ECTOPIA CORDIS?
Ectopia cordis occurs when a baby is born with all or part of its heart outside its chest.
The condition often co-exists with other heart and abdominal defects.
Ectopia cordis affects around one in 126,000 births.
Its cause is unknown. Males are more likely to suffer than females. Cases have never been reported among siblings.
Ectopia cordis’ survival rate is just 10 per cent.
Most babies are delivered stillborn or die within the first few days.
Those who survive require extensive surgery and lifelong care from specialists.
Ectopia cordis can be diagnosed via ultrasound as early as the first trimester.
The mother can opt to terminate the pregnancy.
Post-birth, emergency surgery places the heart inside the body and closes the chest cavity.
Operations then build a sternum to protect the heart and repair any additional defects.
Source: Children’s Hospital Colorado