MEXICO CITY (appro).– He thought it was a cold and even covid-19 that his grandfather would have infected him with, but no: it was a breast teratoma, a tumor of embryonic origin that put the life of Annalie, a baby, at risk. 49 days old.
The operation to remove the tumor at the “José Luis Miranda” Children’s Hospital in Santa Clara became a “milestone of Cuban medicine.”
In mid-January, Lisyanet “M” took Annalie, her 49-day-old baby, to the hospital because her girl had a slight cold, but her grandfather had tested positive for covid-19. However, one of the doctors realized that the newborn was not breathing normally, reported Cubadebate.
“We proceeded to perform chest X-rays and there we discovered a significant mediastinal widening that had nothing to do with covid-19,” reported the director of the Santa Clara Children’s Hospital, Jesús Sánchez Pérez.
The area between the sternum and the spine, in the middle of the lungs and where the heart, large blood vessels, trachea, thymus and esophagus are housed.
A few hours later, a PCR test confirmed his suspicions. Annalie did not have coronavirus. She underwent an echocardiogram and an ultrasound to identify the strange image inside the baby’s small chest.
“The doctors spoke very clearly to me. My girl could even die on the way between the living room and the living room, but they always encouraged me. They told me that as soon as the specialists from Havana arrived, we would do the operation. That didn’t take even a day”, admitted Lisyanet.
The neonatal surgeon and head of the service in the central region of Cuba, Abel Armenteros, acknowledged: “What we found perplexed us: A benign tumor that, due to the understanding it carried out on vital organs, behaved as malignant.”
Annalie’s health was in danger because she suffered a heart attack while undergoing other tests. They had to intubate her, attach her small body to an artificial respirator, sedate her and decide what to do, because it was the first time they had a clinical case of this nature.
“We had no experience in this type of operation, because it is an infrequent phenomenon in neonatal patients. We consulted with the National Pediatric Intensive Care Group, as well as with the coordination of the Maternal-Child Program.
“It was very risky to move a baby in her condition to Havana, so the final decision was to reinforce our surgical team and perform the operation here,” explained Sánchez Pérez.
They were supported by two specialists from the William Soler National Center for Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiosurgery, led by Dr. Eugenio Selman-Housein.
“We extracted the entire tumor and verified that there were no other lesions in the thoracic cavity, and then everything was to avoid complications in the immediate and late postoperative period. If we had not found this mass, it would have been a cause of sudden death in a very short time. The entire team, absolutely everything, gave their best to save the baby,” he added.