Premature babies weighing 475 and 617 grams survive
The twin baby boys, who weighed 475 and 617 grams at birth, fought for four months in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for survival and have been discharged after 126 days on Wednesday.
Born to Shobha Kanwar and Ganpat Singh of Jalore, through in vitro fertilisation, on January 20 this year, the twins were barely larger than a human hand at birth. “She started having labour pains at 26 weeks of pregnancy. As the survival of babies was getting compromised, she was wheeled in for emergency caesarean section,” said Dr Shweta Agarwal doctor, the gynecologist who conducted the delivery.
“In the initial days, the babies were virtually invisible as they struggled to breathe in our hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit,” said Dr Sunil Jangid of Jivanta Children’s Hospital in Udaipur.
They were on ventilator for 70 days and had multiple blood transfusions before they gained weight and became normal. They weighed 1.7 kg and 1.95 kg at the time of discharge on Wednesday.
“Their progress in the NICU was satisfactory — brain is structurally normal and eyes are developing normally,” Dr Jangid added.
It was a long and tough journey for the doctors looking after the tiny twins. “At the best of centres, only 10-20% of such babies are born with this weight. Most doctors do not even attempt to save such babies, as the possibility of healthy survival is low,” said Jivanta Hospital’s chief neonatologist Dr Jangid.
Doctors said the gut of the babies was immature and so they could not be fed. “They were given all essential nutrients, such as protein and carbohydrate, by blood. Regular screening of heart and brain were performed to rule out any bleeding in the brain,” they said.
“As the brain was immature, the babies used to forget to breathe. Medically, the condition is called apnea of prematurity,” doctors added.
Apart from Dr Jangid, Dr Nikhilesh Nain and Dr Kapil Shrimali looked after the babies.
“We are grateful to the doctors of this hospital. We had full faith in the doctors and our babies have survived even when the chances of survival were less,” said Ganpat Singh, the father.
Dr Pradeep Suryawanshi, senior neonatologist from Pune, added, “This story highlights the fact that ultra micro preemie born (baby born before 26 weeks gestation) in developing countries not only have a chance , but also the right to survive and live a normal life. Sophisticated neonatal care and teamwork could make this happen. Intact, survival of such micro preemies may be a daunting task, but not impossible.”