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India’s smallest premature baby brings immense joy to Indian parent

The quality of health care in India has greatly improved over the few years and continues to do so. Adding proof to the above statement is the achievement where a premature baby of less than 26 weeks //has been saved due to appropriate medical care. This will be the third case of saving such babies.

A full term pregnancy means the foetus completes nine months and a week. If the baby is delivered before full-term pregnancy, it is called a premature delivery. It often poses serious problems to the survival of the baby because of the associated immaturity of the organs and abnormal functioning of body system.

Forty-year-old Sangeeta Shah delivered the 650-gram baby in this western Indian city after a 26-week pregnancy on June 19, 2005. The expected date was however October 5th. Dr. Ashish Mehta has successfully handled this special case who also remarked that there is no statistical evidence of intact survival of babies below 26 weeks in our country. Sangeeta started bleeding profusely and the sonography reports reflected a lack of the amniotic fluid. Following delivery, the baby was found to have breathing, digestion and heart complications.

"Still we requested the doctor to take risk of premature delivery, as the baby was live. There was no hope for the first ten days. Then the baby started responding, he gained a weight of 1,460 gm " Sangeeta recalled. The baby will now go home after months at the hospital.

"Although such fetuses are very small yet they can survive if taken proper care of. Of course, a lot of input from medical side and tender nursing care play major roles in intact survival of such foetus," Dr. Mehta said. He has also handled two similar cases where the babies were delivered with a birth weight of 650 gms at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy successfully.

The act of saving the baby will be something for which the couples would always be grateful for despite the high medical cost. After all, no body can take away the joy that a newborn brings into the family.

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