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Virtual Reality Helps in Giving a New Lease of Life for a Baby With Birth Defect

by Reshma Anand on January 11, 2016 at 6:24 PM
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Virtual Reality Helps in Giving a New Lease of Life for a Baby With Birth Defect

Virtual reality artificially creates sensory experiences including sight, touch, hearing, and smell. US Doctors have now achieved a new milestone using this for saving a life of a baby.

Minnesota Baby Teegan Lexcen was born with a birth defect where she had only half heart and one lung. Doctors asked the parents to take her home as she would die in few days. But the baby kept alive for two weeks so her parents decided to go for second opinion.

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Her sister read an article about the most remarkable pediatric doctors in the country and spotted Dr. Redmond Burke, the Chief of cardiovascular surgery, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Miami.

She immediately sent a mail and the doctor responded her back by agreeing to treat the baby. He immediately asked Dr. Juan Carlos Muniz, a Pediatric cardiologist who specialized in imaging, to make a 3-D model of the baby's heart. But the printer was out of service.
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Therefore, he came with another option. He approached Dr. David Ezon a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical center, who used Google Cardboard, the virtual reality headset made out of cardboard to map out an operation.

Google Cardboard also allowed the doctor to see that the baby had only a right ventricle. A normal heart has two, a left ventricle to carry blood to the body and right ventricle to supply blood to the lungs.

As, the baby's single ventricle was doing both of the work, Dr. Burke had to come up with a surgery that would allow the right ventricle to continue to do double-duty for the long-run.

Using the virtual image, Burke invented a new surgery, shoring up and rerouting her one ventricle so it could do the work of both ventricles long term.

The night before the surgery, Burke laid on the bed imagining her heart based on the Google Cardboard image, mapping out the precise steps he would take in the operating room.

When he opened her up the next day, her heart was the same as the image. He proceeded with no surprises. The surgery was 29 days ago, and the baby has been taken off a respirator and is on the road to recovery.

Source: Medindia
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