Pune, 21st November 2023: In a remarkable tale of survival, a premature baby weighing only 790 grams was discharged from Ankura Hospital in Pune after successfully overcoming several health complications. The infant was born at just 25 weeks gestation and presented with underdeveloped lungs, a brain bleed, and a Congenital heart defect known as Patent ductus arteriosus. Despite these severe conditions, a team of doctors – Dr Umesh Vaidya, Dr Siddharth Madabhushi and Dr Anusha Rao – worked tirelessly to stabilize and nurture the baby to give him a new lease of life.
Priyanka Lupane, the baby’s mom, faced some tough challenges during her pregnancy. She had been dealing with Diabetes Mellitus for two years before getting pregnant, which required her to take insulin and other medications. Adding to the complexity, she also had a premature rupture of membranes just seven hours before giving birth. After the baby was born, doctors noticed that the baby’s cry sounds weak, which was a sign that something might be wrong. To help the baby breathe better, the doctors promptly endotracheal tube. The little one was diagnosed with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) due to being born too early, and a chest x-ray showed issues like pulmonary hemorrhage. To give the baby the best chance, he was put on a ventilator and received fluids, nutrition, and antibiotics in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Despite these challenges, both mom and baby received dedicated care from the medical team.
Dr Umesh Vaidya, HOD, Dept of Neonatology, at Ankura Hospital, Pune said “After birth, the baby had a weak cry and required intubation. He was ventilated and administered IV fluids (parenteral nutrition) and antibiotics in the NICU. Chest x-ray was suggestive of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and pulmonary hemorrhage which are complications of premature birth. Although the baby was successfully taken off the ventilator by 1 week of life, the baby required minimal respiratory support and oxygen till 36 weeks of life. Despite numerous health complications at birth, the baby was discharged after 38 weeks of gestation, weighing 1. 825 kgs. Presently, the baby is meeting all developmental milestones for his age and weighs 3.32 kgs at 5 months of postnatal age.”
Dr. Anusha Rao, Consultant Neonatologist Said “the new-born was immediately put on an intensive total parenteral nutrition (special IV fluids consisting of protein & fats) regimen from the first day of life. Then we started giving the baby a little bit of breast milk through a tube on the second day, and gradually increased as tolerated by the baby. By Day 28, the baby was fed orally to ensure he received the proper nutrition. The baby was recommended routine oral feeding, warmth, oil massage, exposure to sunlight, as well as auditory and visual stimulation at the time of discharge. Dr. Rao emphasized that a combination of medical treatment and emotional support is crucial in ensuring that these susceptible infants have the best possible beginning in life.”
Dr. Siddharth Madabhushi, Consultant Neonatologist, emphasized the critical importance of prompt and effective management for babies with low birth weight. He highlighted that a delay in addressing the baby’s needs could have resulted in potential long-term complications such as neurological deficits, and issues with vision and hearing. Fortunately, due to the dedicated efforts of the medical team and the well-equipped Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), these complications were averted, and the baby was progressing well. Dr. Siddharth expressed the commitment to providing top-notch facilities for handling low birth weight babies, ensuring a nurturing environment, and offering comprehensive support services to families in order to promote the health and well-being of these vulnerable newborns.
Dr. Siddharth, further said “According to WHO, Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely worldwide, with India contributing 20%, leading to 1 million preterm-related deaths. World Prematurity Day on November 17th aims to raise awareness about the challenges faced by premature babies and celebrate the efforts of neonatology professionals. Babies born between 23 and 26 weeks face unpredictable survival and long-term health outcomes, as they are fragile and unprepared for life outside the womb. While some may have lifelong disabilities despite excellent care, many others thrive. The day highlights the need for ongoing support and research to improve outcomes for premature infants.”
When we first saw our baby, we were heartbroken. We never thought our baby would be born so small and have to fight so hard. We felt helpless watching him struggle to breathe and grow. But, we didn’t let our sadness take over. Instead, we focused on getting the best care for our strong little fighter. As our baby stabilized, we were also involved in taking care of the baby. We also gave skin to skin contact during the hospital stay. I am especially proud to say that for all three months my baby has received only my own milk and has grown wonderfully well. We are extremely grateful to the doctors at Ankura Hospitals who saved our baby’s life. Now, our baby is doing well. He’s playful, eating, recognizing us, and growing, said Priyanka Lupane, the baby’s mother.