Thursday, September 15, 2016

Life to a premature

Hyderabad, April 18: A 24 year old software professional delivers a premature baby boy born at just 26 weeks. The boy, born at Yashoda Hospital, Secunderabad on 23rd January 2013, was just 550 grams at the time of birth.

Mrs. Deva Gayathri (24), was referred to Dr V. Padmini, Gynecologist & Obstetrician, Yashoda Hospital, Secunderabad at a very critical state in her 25th week of pregnancy. She was advised termination by outside docors. Dr Padmini took up the challenge and managed her with multiple anti hypertensive medications. After 1 week she decided to deliver the fetus in view of uncontrolled hypertension after proper counseling involving the Neonatologist.

Premature births (before 37 completed weeks of gestation) of babies have become common. Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm, and this number is rising. The chances of survival of preterm babies are very less. An estimated 1 million babies die annually from preterm birth complications and it is the leading cause of newborn deaths (babies in the first four weeks of life) and the second leading cause of death after pneumonia in children under five years. In India, the neonatal mortality rate (2010) is 32 per 1000 live births an year.

According to a report published recently (2012), India has the highest number of deaths due to premature births, and ranks 36th in the list of pre-term births globally. The ranking included 199 countries. Of the 27million babies born in India annually (2010 figure), 3.6 million are born premature, of which 303,600 do not survive due to complications.

Speaking about the condition of the baby, Dr. T.P. Kartik, Paediatrician & Neonatologist, Yashoda Hospital, Secunderabadsaid, “I was handed over a male baby and I had to take up the challenge of making the baby survive. The baby was just 550 grams and would fit in our palms. The survival of such incredibly low birth-weight children is abysmally low in the best of the hospitals,"

Soon after the birth, the boy’s incredible fight to survive began. And it was a tough battle as well for his mother Deva Gayathri and the doctors. All the doctors knew that the survival rate of such premature babies is less than 10%.

"While it is not possible for us to duplicate the conditions similar to a womb, we tried our best, providing the most advanced critical care, with minimum noise, light and painful stimuli," Dr. Kartik, said.

The boy was intubated (insertion of a tube into an external or internal orifice of the body) in the operation theater due to poor respiration as the lungs were not fully developed. Appropriate medicines were given immediately. Later, the boy was shifted to level III NICU and ventilator support was continued. The boy was on oxygen support for more than 6 weeks. Presently, after 88 days, the boy is with the mother and gaining good weight. The ‘Wonder Boy’ currently weighs 1475 grams.

Advances in medical technology and hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment have allowed pediatricians to provide premature infants mechanical ventilation, intravenous nutrition and artificial surfactant. However, prevention of major complications related to prematurity still remains elusive.

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