Thane: Cow milk lands 2-month-old infant on ventilator; saved

    The Hawk
    September14/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Thane: A two-month-old male infant landed in the PICU on a ventilator after developing severe infections and acidosis due to cow milk feeding, but was saved after nearly four weeks of treatment, medicos at the Wockhardt Hospitals in Mira Road said.

    The infant, identified as Ansh Raut, was rushed to the hospital in late April in a critical condition with difficulty in breathing and was put on a ventilator in the Paediatric ICU, given medication and dialysis.

    Wockhardt Hospitals’ Paediatric Dr. Ankit Gupta said that the baby was in a serious state, unresponsive, and having difficulty in breathing with oxygen level dropping to just 80.

    The team found that since the new mother was not lactating enough, she had put her baby on a cow milk diet which triggered the medical problems.

    “This is a rare condition. Cow or buffalo milk is not recommended for young infants as their digestive systems struggle to process it, leading to bacterial overgrowth that increases ammonia and excessive acidity in body fluids,” said Dr. Gupta.

    The child’s pH levels came to 6.9, below the normal range of 7.4 and though he was administered medicines it failed to reduce the high acid levels in the body.

    “His toxic metabolic ammonia levels exceeded 700, such high ammonia can have deleterious effects on the brain. He required dialysis for a week. The methaemoglobin levels were significantly elevated at 30, against the normal 1, and its potential harmful effects include Breathing difficulty, fits, cardiac rhythm abnormalities,” explained Dr. Gupta.

    After a long treatment of nearly a month, the child was discharged in May and his condition was monitored for the next few months.

    Dr. Gupta said that during this period, the child achieved developmental milestones appropriate for his age and resumed regular feeding without any noticeable symptoms remaining.

    “Now, the baby is now doing well, but lack of prompt treatment could have led to complications like brain damage or even death,” warned the doctor.

    Dr. Gupta further advised: “Mother’s milk is a God gift and exclusive breastfeeding is always advised for babies for the first 6 months. If mothers are facing any difficulty, then they should get medical help for the same.”

    Now, the mother has also started lactating sufficiently and the child is on breastfeeding and other feeds as advised by the medicos.