The newborn, with his family, flown to Kolkata from Agartala by Air India. Photo/ANI
The newborn, with his family, flown to Kolkata from Agartala by Air India. Photo/ANI

Air India flies newborn with congenital malformations for special treatment

By Ashoke Raj | Updated: Jun 05, 2020 01:08 IST

New Delhi [India], June 5 (ANI): Air India flew a critical 20-day old baby from Agartala to Kolkata in a flight for immediate medical attention as it suffered from 'Tracheo Esophageal Fistula' and needed constant oxygen supply during air travel.

In medical science, Tracheo esophageal fistula disease is known as an abnormal connection in one or more places between the esophagus (the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach) and the trachea (the tube that leads from the throat to the windpipe and lungs). Normally, the esophagus and the trachea are two separate tubes that are not connected.

"The doctors in Agartala told Maran Debnath and his wife Soma that the life of their 20-day-old infant could only be saved if they could somehow manage to take the baby to Kolkata for specialised treatment involving a rather complicated surgical procedure," according to the Air India Station Manager, Agartala.

The parents of 20-day old baby were distressed; it was a stiff challenge, especially during the lockdown and with restrictions in flying norms.

The parents contacted Air India, Agartala and the Station Manager (SM) pulled out all stops to make necessary arrangements liaising with Kolkata, Air India, to ensure they could travel at the earliest.

The Air India Station Manager, Agartala told ANI that the airline had Mobilised all resources to fly the infant to Kolkata.
"We sounded out the parents to travel this evening on flight AI-746 to Kolkata after all the medical requirements and documents were ready. It was a herculean task to make in-flight medical arrangements, including oxygen cylinders, and other essentials to fly an infant in such delicate health conditions," the Station Manager, Agartala said.
"But Air India Agartala and Kolkata commercial, engineering, IFS, operations, and medical teams rose to the challenge and strictly adhering to all safety and medical protocols, touched down safely at NSCBI Airport, Kolkata late evening today with the infant and parents," he added.
After safely landing at Kolkata airport, a visibly emotional Maran thanked Air India for its "spontaneous and unstinted support and co-operation in flying them to Kolkata braving all the odds."
As a precautionary measure, the doctors had also tested the infant for COVID-19 before referring it for further treatment to Kolkata. They got clearance for proceeding to Kolkata after the result came out negative.
"This life-saving medical evacuation to fly the baby in critical health conditions with all the mandatory infrastructure in place during these challenging times reiterates the role AI has been playing to serve as the lifeline of the nation and its nationals," the AI spokesperson said. (ANI)