A team of expert neonatologists led by Dr Rahul Yadav at Rainbow Children’s Hospital, on Wednesday, showcased successful treatment administered to a baby boy born during the second trimester, at 22 weeks, weighing 510gm. The baby was born to Geetha (38) from Chennai.
Geetha had given birth to twins at 22 weeks of gestation owing to pre-labour membrane rupture. The babies were initially born and managed at Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) elsewhere. However, one of them died within a few days. The other was transferred to Rainbow Children’s Hospital on the fourth day for further management of premature complications and respiratory distress.
The baby not only faced difficulty in breathing but also had gelatinous skin, weak bones and broncho-pulmonary dysplasia (a chronic lung disease). Weighing only 380gm at the time of admission, the infant required extensive supervision and 24×7 intensive support to survive and recover.
Scientifically, the success rate of survival of babies born in the second trimester, at 22 weeks, is almost nil and extremely rare. At Rainbow Children’s Hospital, lead consultant, Perinatology and Neonatology, Dr Rahul Yadav, along with his team — Dr Shobana Rajendran, senior consultant, Neonatology; and Dr Arun Kumar, senior consultant, Neonatology — treated the baby in a double-walled incubator, assisting the baby to breathe using surfactants and ventilator. Additionally, the doctors supported the baby with nutritional rehabilitation and non-invasive respiratory support and developmental supportive care.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr Yadav said, “Knowing that the survival rate of a 22-week-old baby is very low, the responsibility of saving the baby was very high. Geetha had conceived twins and one of them died after delivery. Geetha’s obstetricians recommended that the baby be brought to Rainbow Children’s Hospital. The infant was brought in a very critical condition with acute breathing difficulty and lung infection. Our team stretched themselves to bring about a remarkable difference to the life of the baby and its parents by improving the infant’s health and, now, the child has gained considerable weight and is quite stable. This was possible only because the parents had placed enough confidence in my team.”
Dr Yadav added, “In the past year, we’ve successfully treated five extreme pre-term babies born before 25 weeks. We’d like to emphasise that there’s life for pre-term babies who are born with low chances of survival.”
Speaking at a press conference, Rajmohan, General Manager, Rainbow Children’s Hospital, said, “At Rainbow Children’s Hospital, every life is precious and we’re equipped with some of the most advanced machines to help us in this endeavour. We congratulate Geetha and her baby and are happy that Rainbow Children’s Hospital has been a part of the baby’s journey.”
The hospital helped the parents raise money for treatment through crowdfunding. The baby, at discharge, was 1.54kg after 100 days of intensive care. At follow-up, the baby is doing well and now weighs 3.5kg, an age-appropriate milestone. His eyes and hearing screenings were normal, pointing to a neurologically normal child.