Mumbai hospital used stem cells to save premature

In what it claims is the first such documented case in the world, Surya Hospital, Mumbai said recently that it has used stem cells to save the life of a prematurely born 10-month-old baby suffering from chronic lung disease.

Though the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) regulations doesn’t approve of stem cell use in neonatal conditions, Mumbai’s Surya Hospital claims it was performed to save a life and open newer research avenues.

The hospital said the son of Chandivali couple got a new lease of life from stem cells that “accelerated the development” of his lungs and helped him fight a severe form of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)—a condition that destroys lungs and majorly affects babies born before 28 weeks of gestation.

“As far as we know, it’s the first time where mesenchymal stem cells have been successfully used to treat BPD in a micro preemie newborn,” said Dr Nandkishore Kabra, Director, Neonatal ICU at Surya Hospital. The hospital claimed it started seeing improvement in the baby’s lung function within two weeks of injecting the boy with 40 million stem cells directly in the organ. The baby went home in March after spending nearly nine months in the hospital. He now weighs nearly 5kg.