Premature babies and medical care

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“My cousin is a professional musician who performs in live shows. He has the height and physique that most of the boys of his age vie for. My motive is not to write a biography on him. I want to convey that no one can believe that he was born premature in the seventh month.” Deepak Sharma, vice-president at Eros Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

“My son is too active. He is 7 years old and is too naughty and active for his age. I live in a joint family and no other kid in my family has energy to match up to my son’s. He was born premature at 28 weeks. My wife is a patient of high blood pressure and because of this only she went into early, untimely labour. “ Gaurav Sharma, property dealer.

Most of us know at least one such person in our circle who was born premature. How would a husband or any other family member of a pregnant lady feel when a pregnant lady goes through early labour?  Of course they’ll panic. But more than panicking, a premature delivery is about arranging for appropriate and up-to-date medical care and a trustworthy and dedicated medical team. Because all a premature baby needs is that extra medical support. As soon as he reaches a decent weight, he is good to go home and do anything in life that a normal-term baby can do.

When a baby is called premature?

Babies at 22 weeks are considered viable meaning their lungs are able to pump air and the baby can survive outside the mother’s womb. However, the babies born before at least 37 weeks are termed ‘premature’ because they have some severe medical needs and a lengthy hospital stay. Doctors consider that every day spent in the mother’s womb makes a huge difference to the baby.

Medical care needed for preemies

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar shares that he has a premature baby at his hospital where the baby is doing fine under round-the-clock medical care and supervision of Neonatologist Dr. Arpit Gupta and his team. The baby was declared dead by the doctor at the nursing home in Karnal, Haryana where he was born. Somehow, the family of the baby could get through Dr. Kumar who arranged for them an ambulance with a baby ventilator in which the baby was brought to his hospital.

Dr. Arpit Gupta says that most special care needs to be taken for handling and treating premature babies. He puts in light on following points:

  • Specifically trained medical staff and state-of-the art medical apparatuses are needed for the preemies to mimic the atmosphere that is inside a mother’s womb.
  • Weight below 1000 gms in new-borns are considered an extremely-low birth weight. Preemies have immature lungs, brains and guts. Their organs are still in the process of development.
  • Preemies need medical support to even breathe. Such babies cannot breathe independently. Excessive independent breathing can make them perspire which can lead to loss of heat and water from their bodies. It can also cause them stress, which can hamper in their growth and development. So maintaining the required amount of hydration becomes a challenge for the medical team. Their breathing is often supported with a ventilator or nasal cannulae that provide required amount of air, pressure and oxygen.
  • The respiratory drive of the brain is also not strong in preemies. In other words, the connection from the brain to lungs isn’t very strong so the brain fails to send the trigger to lungs to function.
  • Preemies are put on partial oral feed and partial feed of intravenous fluids through which a combination of nutrients including sugars, fat and proteins are transferred in their bodies. It is because their guts are still not mature enough to digest even mother’s milk.
  • Preemies once attain 1700-1800 gms of weight and are able to breathe independently could be taken home.

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar

Faridabad Medical Centre

Phone: 0129-2980378, Mobile: 9891001441

E-mail: skguma@yahoo.com

 

3 Comments
  1. February 25, 2016
  2. March 1, 2016
    • March 1, 2016

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