Tiny but mighty: pre-term baby fights off virus

Born at 28 weeks, the boy weighed just 1 kg and was also suffering from respiratory distress

A pre-term baby, who was born at 28 weeks and weighed just 1 kg, waged a successful battle against COVID-19 as well as pre-term health complications.

He was born at a private hospital here on April 8. His mother suffered from severe form of COVID and was provided with mechanical ventilator support, which prevented her from breastfeeding her newborn initially.

Doctors said the boy suffered from prematurity-related respiratory distress and his first COVID test result was negative. But he soon tested positive and was shifted to KIMS Cuddles, a unit of KIMS Hospital, on April 18.

The baby was then put on ventilator support and shifted to COVID isolation ICU.

“The newborn was nursed by our team of doctors and nurses in a specialised isolation neonatal ICU and provided ventilator support, intravenous antibiotics, and nutrition. The neonate was monitored with multi para monitors showing a real time display of its vitals such as blood pressure, oxygen saturations etc. The ventilator support was weaned to nasal ventilation and later to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). The newborn was managed with a combination of supportive care and steroids,” said C Aparna, clinical director-Neonatology, and senior consultant-Neonatology and Paediatrics at KIMS Cuddles.

The parents were updated about the newborn’s condition through video calls.

The mother, after recovery, was motivated to send expressed breast milk for the child. The neonate fought COVID for seven days, and was shifted out of isolation after recovery.

However, the baby had to remain in intensive care as he suffered from pre-term health conditions and weighed around 950 grams. After 30 days of admission at the corporate facility, he was discharged on May 18 when he weighed around 1.8 kg.

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