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2-month-old baby develops severe infection after consuming cow milk

A two-month-old baby boy developed infection and severe acidosis due to cow milk consumption in Mumbai. 

The condition of the baby had deteriorated to such a level that he could not breath properly due to which he was kept on a ventilator for further management of his condition at Wockhardt Hospitals.

Fortunately, a team of doctors saved his life by carrying out timely medical intervention.

Dr Ankit Gupta, Consultant Paediatric Critical Care Specialist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road said, “Upon arrival at the emergency room, the baby was in critical condition and unresponsive.  He had difficulty breathing with an oxygen level of 80. To assist with his breathing, he was placed on a ventilator.”

“This condition occurs very rarely. Cow milk is not recommended for young infants as their digestive systems struggle to process it. It can lead to bacterial overgrowth that leads to an increase in ammonia and severe acidosis (excessive acidity in body fluids). His pH levels were measured at 6.9, below the normal range of 7.4. Medication was administered to reduce the acid in his body, but it had no effect,” he added.

“His toxic metabolic ammonia levels exceeded 700, such high ammonia can have a deleterious effect on the Brain. He required dialysis for a week. The methaemoglobin levels were significantly elevated at 30, whereas it should normally be less than 1, its potentially harmful effects include Breathing difficulty, Fits, and Cardiac rhythm abnormalities,” Dr Gupta added.

“The child was discharged after a month. During this time, the child achieved developmental milestones appropriate for their age and resumed regular feeding without any noticeable symptoms remaining. The baby is now doing well. Failing to treat the baby promptly could have resulted in complications such as death or brain damage. Mother's milk is God's gift for babies, exclusive breastfeeding is always advised for babies for the first 6 months. If mothers are facing any difficulty, then they should consult their doctor for the same,” he explained.

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