Miracle baby Nirvaan out of NICU after 132 days

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 23, 2017

Born on May 12, in the 22nd week of pregnancy, and weighing a mere 610 gm, which was followed by a further weight loss, fatal medical emergencies and multiple surgeries, the Khar hospital doctors managed to hand over a healthy 3.5 kg Nirvaan to his parents.

This is one of the youngest pre-term babies to survive in India. After 132 days in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), he now weighs 3.72 kilos, and is out of intensive care. The labour started immediately and by 2.14 pm, the baby was delivered. "I knew he will emerge as a victor", Retika added. She suffered from urinary tract infection when she went into labour pain. According to gynaecologist Sejal Desai, she delivered within minutes of reaching the hospital in Santacruz, from Bandra.

Nirvaan was placed on high frequency ventilator support in the delivery room itself. "Among those who are born alive, less than 5% continue to survive", said neo-natologist Dr Nandkishor Kabra. "The family was also provided emotional support through rigorous counselling by the medical team", said Avasthi. "In the first six weeks, it was hard to say whether he would survive".

Nirvaan had underdeveloped brain and lungs, while his other organs were too premature to function on their own. He was put on respiratory support for 12 weeks. The under-developed brain faces risk of internal bleeding. He even survived life-threatening conditions, such as pneumothorax, a condition where there is air accumulation around the lungs.

"Such babies may suffer from neurological problems. We conducted five ultrasounds to ensure there was no anomaly", neonatologist Dr Hari Balasubramanian said, adding, "sometimes it was hard to clearly spot the baby in the bundle of tubes, gadgets, incubator and ventilator support he was in". Dr Katke told The Asian Age, "This might be the first baby, but our hospital has treated a premature baby weighing 710 gm". After staying apart for four months, the mother said they have started bonding. He spent 132 days in the NICU. It has been learnt that the total treatment cost was between Rs 15-20 lakh.

At a time when the country is abuzz with debates on foetal viability and abortion limits, a baby born in the 22nd week of gestation-which is just two weeks over the legal abortion deadline in India-has fought all odds to survive. Across Maharashtra, there are 36 newborn care units to support such neonatals, but no neonatologist to treat critically ill newborns.

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