370g premature baby survives in Lanzhou

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-07-15 15:53
[Photos/Gansu Provincial Maternity and Child-care Hospital]

After over 200 days of intensive effort and treatment, Dami, a premature baby girl born weighing merely 370 grams, has been stabilised at a hospital in Lanzhou, Northwest China's Gansu province. She is now ready to return home.

Dami's survival has set a record in China in the field of treating premature infants with ultra-low birth weight and severe diseases.

A woman surnamed Yang, who was carrying twins, showed signs of premature birth on Dec 10, and was admitted to the obstetrical ward in the Gansu Provincial Maternity and Child-care Hospital.

Due to various abnormal indicators in the week-long treatment, she had to deliver the babies, over 100 days earlier than expected.

On Dec 16, a faint baby's cry from the delivery room announced the start of an intense fight with death.

All medical staff present were shocked at the sight of the newly born twins. The two infants only weighed 370g and 480g respectively, with their skin transparent like jelly, their eyes unable to open, and their breaths extremely weak.

Although the center had successfully rescued a premature 23 week old infant with a birth weight of 550g in July 2018, it had no experience in such a situation.

But without hesitation, NICU medical staffs did all they could to safeguard the two lives. For easier distinction, they even gave each lovely nickname: Dami and Xiaomi.

Even though strenuous efforts were made, Xiaomi struggled, surviving for only two days, a devastating blow to Xiaomi's parents. The medical staff encouraged them to concentrate all their energy on still rescuing Dami.

She suffered from oxygen saturation and severe bronchopulmonary, creating a complex battle that medical staff had so far never faced. Still Shi Jingyun, director of the Newborn Intensive Care Center, decided not to give up.

On March 6, 2019, after the team's unrelenting efforts, Dami was successfully saved from death's hands.

Combined with the previous rescue success, this demonstrates how Gansu has entered an internationally advanced level for the treatment of critically ill newborns.

According to global medical statistics, there are 216 premature newborns worldwide with a birth weight of less than 400g, none of which are from China. The lightest premature infant currently alive is a child named Saybie from San Diego, US, with a birth weight of only 245g.

Currently, the occurance rate of ultra-low birth weight infants (less than 1,000g) in China is 0.2 percent. The survival rate of those weighing 501g to 750g at birth accounts for only 55 percent, while those under 500g when born can rarely survive at all.

Fortunately, treatment for critically ill newborns in China has been continuously improving, and the survival rate of ultra-low birth weight infants has increased significantly over the years, thanks to the development of neonatology as well as the overall improvement of medical conditions.

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