Twin babies weighing 800 and 100 gms were born at 27 weeks prematurely after defying all the odds and emerging victorious amidst the pandemic. This is a landmark successful premature delivery carried out during the pandemic by a team headed by Dr Samir Sheikh is a Neonatologist in Wockhardt Hospital Mira Road. The babies were discharged, after a stay of 55 days in the NICU. The babies leave an inspiring trail of resilience and survival despite the challenges of a COVID pandemic.
Couple Neelam D’cruz (34) and her husband was on cloud 9 when they came to know that Neelam has conceived for the first time. Neelam, who is a working woman residing at Mira Road carried on with her normal routine after pregnancy. The current Covid phase is challenging, but for parents, there might be a small positive ray of hope. There are many factors that tend to influence premature births, and getting a new life by fighting against all odds is a miracle.
Dr Samir Sheikh, Neonatologist in Wockhardt Hospital Mira Road, “Premature delivery takes place before the 40th week of the estimated due date. Preemies have an increased chance of suffering from birth complications like jaundice, kidney problems, infections, breathing, and heart problems. It becomes challenging for doctors to deliver a healthy premature baby. The couple remained calm and composed when Neelam’s foetal membranes ruptured before the onset of labour. The patient was diabetic and suffered from hypothyroidism. Soon, the couple came to the hospital, and the mother presented with the leaking of amniotic fluid and the preterm onset of labour. Her covid antigen test was negative and she was taken up in OT with all due precautions to protect the mother, the babies and the medical team treating her. Neelam delivered a premature twin weighing 800 and 100 gms at the 27 weeks via a C-section and was shifted to the NICU.”
Dr Sheikh added, “The babies were intubated due to lung problems and low immunity. The babies had to be ventilated and suspected of femoral expansion during delivery. Their intestines were immature and they cannot tolerate feeds. They had to be given nutrition intravenously and were on Total parenteral nutrition (TPN). It is a method of feeding that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. Fluids are given into a vein to provide most of the nutrients the body needs. The method is used when one cannot or should not receive feedings or fluids via the mouth. One of the babies had an episode of pneumonia and both the babies struggled with the immaturity of the brain and eyes. The immaturity of the brain didn’t translate into permanent injury.”
All preterm babies can have problem with the development of eyes which is called “Retinopathy of prematurity” which was handled by a paediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Siddharth Kesarwani. All NICU graduate babies do need a combination if developmental care. Their developmental issues were taken care of and babies are growing developmentally well. Once the babies were stabilized, they were given surfactant (medicines to open up the lungs) (that’s right) and the doctors noticed an improvement in her condition. The mother had problems with gestational diabetes and hypothyroidism. Her obstetric and medical problems were managed by Dr Mangla Patil and Dr Jinendra Jain respectively.
Dr Sheikh said, “Despite the pandemic, the mother was encouraged to spend time with her babies and she was strictly asked to use a face mask, follow hand hygiene, and maintain social distancing in the hospital and NICU premises. The Hospital follows a family-centric carte in which we encourage parents to spend mote and mote time with babies and participate in all NICU care and procedures. Strict Covid protocols were followed in the NICU. The medical and nursing team together ensured that the babies are infection-free and the parents were asked to report symptoms such as cold, cough, and fever. The NICU equipment and frequently touched surfaces were disinfected. The babies tolerated the feeds well and weighed 1.5 kgs at the time of discharge. The couple has been asked to limit the visitors at home, follow the Covid protocol at home and come for regular follow-ups to monitor the development of the babies.”
“I was worried after the premature delivery of my babies. I was afraid that they may contract Covid infection. But, the doctors at Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road ensured risk-free delivery. I thank the doctors for handling my high-risk pregnancy with ease by ensuring my babies become healthy after having complications at birth,” concluded the mother twins Neelam D’cruz.