Dubai: Doctors at Latifa Hospital saved the life of a baby boy born prematurely at 24 weeks in October after his mother developed a life-threatening condition.
The baby who weighed 445 grams at birth was discharged last week weighing 1.9kg.
The baby’s twin who was born weighing 385 grams did not survive.
Dr Khalid Al Atawi, consultant neonatologist at Latifa Hospital, said the baby’s Palestinian mother suffered from Preeclampsia.
“Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ systems, most often the liver and kidneys. The condition usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal,” he said.
Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both the mother and the baby. The only way to cure the condition is to deliver the baby, he added.
After the baby was born, he was immediately treated at the hospital’s neonatal NICU.
Dr Al Atawi said the golden hour approach was implemented immediately after birth. This approach includes a quick and efficient admission process of babies with extremely low birth weight, where they are stabilized during the first hour through quick resuscitation.
The Golden Hour approach also includes the avoidance of hypothermia and acquisition of IV access for nutrition.
Dr Al Atawi added that fluid administration was also completed through a multidisciplinary ‘baby workgroup.’ This included neonatal resuscitation, post-resuscitation care, transportation of sick newborn to neonatal intensive care unit, respiratory and cardiovascular support and initial course in nursery. “This may help improve neonatal outcomes avoiding Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH), Chronic Lung Disease (CLD) and Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP),” he said.
Dr Al Atawi explained that preterm babies who are born before 37 weeks, normally weigh less than 2.5kgs, and therefore need essential care to be nursed back to health including protection from infections, ensuring that they are kept warm, ensuring skin-to skin contact with the mother and that they are receiving sufficient breast milk.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahmoud Al Halik, Head of pediatrics and neonatology at the Latifa Hospital, said almost 25 per cent of the 980 babies admitted to NICU in 2017 were preterm.
“DHA hospitals encourage family involvement to promote a baby’s healthy development in the NICU from day one. Neonates are placed in an incubator and once the baby’s condition is stable, healthcare professionals teach the mother and father kangaroo care [which is skin-to-skin contact between the baby and their parents],” he said.
Dr Al Halik explained parents’ reassuring and loving touch is known to have many health benefits, one of which is helping in the lactation process.