Life-Saving In Utero Heart Procedure


Physicians from North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) and Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) of New York on Thursday held a news conference at NSUH to introduce a Huntington boy who underwent a life-saving in utero heart procedure 4 ½ months into his mother’s pregnancy. The clinical team, headed by Dr. Nidhi Vohra of North Shore University Hospital and supported by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Angela Romano of CCMC, performed an in utero pericardiocentesis on a heart the size of a quarter and beating between 120 and 160 bpm. Using ultrasound technology for guidance, Dr. Vohra inserted a needle through the abdomen of the baby’s mother and guided it into the pericardial sac, draining a dangerously high level of fluid that had built up inside the fetal pericardial sac, threatening the baby's heart and lungs. There have only been 10 such procedures published in worldwide medical literature and it was the first performed in a North Shore-LIJ hospital. The 46-year-old mother conceived thanks to fertility treatment she received at North Shore-LIJ's Center for Human Reproduction in the New York area.

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