Dubai: Baby weighing 480 grams at birth defies odds, gets discharged after 87 days

Doctor recommends Kangaroo Mother Care method, which involves carrying infants with direct skin-to-skin contact

Baby Elina Mohammad Karami, born prematurely at just 27 weeks, entered into this world in a desperate attempt to stabilise her mother’s high blood pressure complications, weighing a mere 480g of weight. With her respiratory system relying on mechanical ventilation, a dedicated team of medical professionals ensured her well-being daily. In the face of difficulty, Elina overcame all odds and proved herself to be a real fighter. She was born to Khadijeh Ali Jafari and Mohammad Karam Karami, an Iranian couple. This was the second pregnancy for Dubai-born and raised Khadijeh, who had undergone a miscarriage in 2022. Elina needed immediate medical intervention to sustain her delicate health due to her weight. It was within the confines of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Medeor Hospital, Dubai, that her remarkable journey began. Khadijeh shared her harrowing experience, recounting the preventive measures she took during her pregnancy due to the previous miscarriage in 2022. “Everything was progressing smoothly until the 20th week of pregnancy when the first anomaly scan revealed an issue with the baby’s heart function. Subsequent scans indicated that the heart was fine, but the baby was not growing at the expected rate,” Khadijeh said. The scan report was a devastating shock to 32-year-old Khadijeh and her husband, who had already experienced the heartbreak of a previous miscarriage. Throughout her pregnancy, they followed up with Dr Sagimole Tojichen, specialist obstetrician and gynecologist and gynae laparoscopic surgeon at Medeor Hospital, Dubai. During the 26th week, Khadijeh began experiencing intense pain and immediately sought medical attention. “The pain was unbearable, and my blood pressure was alarmingly high. I rushed to the hospital at 3 am, where I was relieved to find my doctor waiting to treat me,” Khadijeh said.

A risky decision

Following a series of tests, it was initially reported that the baby’s condition was stable. Nonetheless, Khadijeh continued experiencing excruciating pain and made countless visits to the hospital for three days. An alarming revelation surfaced during further examinations – her hemoglobin levels were dropping, and an ultrasound scan confirmed that the blood supply to the baby was also diminishing. Considering this dire situation, Dr Sagimole proceeded with an emergency cesarean section at just 27 weeks, presenting one last glimmer of hope to save both the mother and baby.

“She developed high blood pressure, and her lab parameters were also abnormal, which was severe enough to rush for delivery. Delaying the delivery by giving steroids to protect the baby was highly risky to Khadijeh. The mother’s safety and early delivery timing were the real challenges,” said Dr Sagimole. Elina was promptly transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) under the care of Dr Kalyan Chakravarthy Balla, consultant neonatologist at Medeor Hospital, Dubai. This sudden turn of events left Khadijeh and Mohammad anxiously awaiting any signs of progress and praying for the well-being of their newborn.

“Baby Elina’s size was notably tiny, even considering her medically classified level of prematurity as a growth-restricted infant. This further contributed to the challenges we were facing. From the start, the baby required parenteral nutrition to sustain growth and development. The NICU team worked tirelessly, providing vigilant care around the clock, for the baby’s well-being,” said Dr Kalyan. Days turned into weeks and months as Baby Elina fought her way through countless challenges. Throughout her stay in the NICU, her vital signs stabilized, and her weight steadily increased. Their collective efforts of doctors and nurses, alongside the unwavering support of her family, became a lifeline for the young warrior.

“Baby Elina received vital breathing support and minimal milk feeds, which gradually increased to full feeds by day seven,” the doctor added.

Kangaroo Mother Care

When Baby Elina’s weight reached 780 grams, Dr Kalyan recommended Khadijeh to start Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), a method of care for preterm infants. This approach involves carrying infants, typically by the mother, with direct skin-to-skin contact.

“Kangaroo Mother Care not only strengthened the bond between Elina and me, but it also contributed to her better growth,” Khadijeh said. Finally, after 87 days of immense care and nurturing, the long-awaited day arrived. Elina’s journey in the NICU had come to an end. At a healthy weight of 1800 grams, she was deemed fit enough to be discharged into the loving arms of her grateful family. Currently, the doctor is closely monitoring her situation for transition to direct breastfeeds.

“Initially, it was very tough for us to adjust to the reality. It was relieving for us when we found that the whole team at Medeor Hospital cared for my baby like a family. I want to thank the Almighty and the staff at Medeor for their continuous support,” Khadijeh said.

Read Full Story: KhaleejTimes

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