Surviving against all odds- an incredible story of a 400gms club baby


Bangalore, June 02, 2023:  In one of the rarest cases, a premature baby, born with a low birth weight of a mere 470 gms after 24 weeks and 3 days of gestation through IVF was given a new lease of life at Aster Women & Children Hospital, Whitefield after being treated in Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for 115 days. It is an exceptional feat as the survival chances of a ‘400 grams club baby’ is less than 1 percent.

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Swetha (name changed) went to Aster Women & Children Hospital for a second opinion during her 6th month of pregnancy. On being diagnosed, her vitals were found alarming. Her face and hands were swollen. Liver function tests and other examinations were conducted, the results of which were found to be highly elevated. The doctors immediately admitted her and she ended up delivering the baby on the very same day. Naturally, the baby was born premature and weighed only 470 grams.

When the baby’s journey started in NICU, on initial assessment doctors found it could not tolerate milk and had multiple uncontrollable apneic episodes. The infant received multiple blood transfusions too. His skin was extremely sensitive and was bruising easily.  Placing lines was a huge challenge. He was gaining a meagre weight of 10 gms each day.

Speaking on the precarious situation, Dr Lathiesh Kumar Kambam, Lead Neonatology, Consultant – Paediatrics and Neonatology, Aster Women and Children Hospital said: “We put the baby on various equipment and also administered a number of drugs to ensure it got a new lease of life. The baby was given Kangaroo Mother Care even when he was about 970 grams. Kangaroo mother care is about caring for newborn preterm infants with the mother using her own body temperature to keep her infant warm. It provides the infant with the basic needs for survival like the mother’s warmth, stimulation, breast milk, love and protection. He did not suffer from any sepsis throughout his stay which is an excellent achievement for us. The team of NICU experts, Dr. Pupun, and Dr Anusha supported us in the endeavor to save the baby.”

On the chances of survival of babies belonging to the ‘400 grams club’, Dr Srinivasa Murthy CL, Lead Paediatrics, Consultant – Paediatrics and Neonatology, added:“The delivery process was just the tip of the iceberg. Without proper NICU equipment like HFOV (High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilator), volume guarantee ventilation, CPAP, giraffe incubators, advanced neonatal cardio-pulmonary monitors, and CPAP the chances of survival in such infants are almost non-existent. With the state-of-the-art medical infrastructure at our disposal and the efforts of our team of doctors and nurses, we ensured that the baby was continually monitored 24/7 and supported with all medications to aid its growth and development.

Dr Vishnupriya, Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynecology, Aster Women & Children Hospital talking about the mother’s condition said The mother was having regular antenatal checkups done at a nearby place. She was then referred to us for a second opinion at around 24 weeks and 3 days with severe preeclampsia with compromised fetal Doppler and severe Oligohydramnios. We decided to deliver her after giving steroids and MgSO4, and a baby weighing 470gms was delivered by LSCS. Post-delivery mother’s liver and renal parameters started to improve. Her requirement for antihypertensives came down.

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Expressing her gratitude, Swetha said, “We were childless after 6 years of marriage. Our happiness knew no bounds when we conceived through IVF. Unfortunately, our joy was cut short due to the condition of our baby. The doctors at Aster gave us back our baby, something we never expected. Our sincere thanks to Dr Lathiesh , Dr Srinivasa Murthy , Dr Vishnupriya,  and the support staff.

The baby was successfully discharged with weight of 2.25kilos, after 4 months of intensive care and monitoring. Doctors said that there are more challenges till he becomes 2 years of age.  Parents and caregivers are hoping for the best.

About Aster DM Healthcare

Aster DM Healthcare Limited is one of the largest private healthcare service providers operating in GCC and in India. With an inherent emphasis on clinical excellence, we are one of the few entities in the world with a strong presence across primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary healthcare through our 29 hospitals, 120 clinics, 371 pharmacies and 114 labs & patient experience centres in seven countries, including India. We have over 25,800 plus dedicated staff including 3,200+ doctors and 7,000+ nurses across the geographies that we are present in, delivering a simple yet strong promise to our different stakeholders: “We’ll treat you well.” We reach out to all economic segments in the GCC states through our differentiated healthcare services across the “Aster”, “Medcare” and “Access” brands.

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