Meet the lightest baby ever who just survived a liver transplant
When the two-month-old David was brought to the hospital, his birth-weight was just 2.1 kgs, while an average child weighs about 2.5 kgs at birth
When you look up "average birth-weight of baby" you'll probably come across information by the World Health Organisation (WHO). They say that any baby who weighs anything under 2,500 gms (2.5 kgs) is called as a 'low birth-weight' baby.
On an average, a normal healthy baby weights anything between 2,500 gms (2.5 kgs) and 2,900 gms (2.9 kgs). So when doctors at the Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon saw a two-month old baby weighing just about 2.1 kgs, it startled them beyond their wits.
But what really scared them was the fact that he had to undergo emergency live transplant. Did the doctors then succeed?
Thankfully, the operation was successful and the doctors were able to save the two-month-old Nigerian national, David.
David's condition was critical
His parents had brought him to India for medical tourism since they did not have that medical facility in their native country and David urgently required a liver transplant.
While speaking to TOI, the doctors shared that David was suffering from a "severe liver and bone marrow failure" and was barely even alive when he was first brought to the hospital.
Liver transplant was the only way he could be saved, but it wasn't easy given the complexities involved. First, the child's father was the only suitable donor, but he was about 43 times heavier. There were no previous reports of a successful transplant with donors heavier than 25 times the recipient's size," informed Dr AS Soin, chairman of Medanta Liver Institute.
The doctors also shared that David was under anaesthesia for almost nine hours and that the operation was rather critical because of his age and small organs.
"The doctors managed to overcome the complexities. The patient is doing fine and the transplant was successful," revealed Dr Vijay Vohra, head, Department of Liver Anaesthesia, Medanta.
But in critical case such as these, especially ones that involve low-birth baby, chances of further survival post surgery become difficult.
Continue reading to see what happened next to David, the lightest baby ever!
Since it was a critical operation, David, who is the lightest baby observed so far, was kept in the hospital for nearly two months.
"In the two months that he remained in hospital post-surgery, the child underwent intensive antibiotic therapy to fight infections. "David, now nearly three months, weighs 3.8 kg, is playful, and growing well with normal liver and bone marrow function," informed Dr Mohan, director, Children's Liver Diseases And Transplant, Medanta Liver Institute.
This case is termed as a "rare feat" by doctors in the medical industry because for the first time, a child with such low-birth weight was operated upon successfully.
Since low birth-weight could be a major problem for the baby, even in the future, an expecting mother must take certain precautions to keep herself healthy. This way her baby has a better chance of being born healthy.
Precautions expecting mothers must take
We at Indusparent spoke to Dr Preeti Rastogi, senior consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, about the precautions an expecting mother must take.
She first says that having a baby within a particular age (if possible) could be one of the ways. "Women are now a days more aware of the fact that late childbearing can lead to various complications in pregnancy like miscarriages, medical disorders, inability to conceive. Right age to have baby is advised to be before 30 if possible," says Dr Rastogi.
She also lists the following things expecting mothers must keep in mind.
- All mothers need to eat a healthy and balanced diet and avoid unhealthy foods
- Needs to take adequate rest
- Regular exercise
- Regular antenatal visit to your doctor
- Make effort to attend antenatal classes to understand changes during pregnancy, labour and delivery
- Timely vaccination of the baby
She also adds that even fathers must contribute to making sure that the expecting mother is healthy. "A father can support the health of his pregnant partner and the baby-to-be by cooking and eating healthy meals together and exercising together (take walks or do yoga, etc. as per doctor’s recommendations) throughout the pregnancy," she adds.
"Be proactive in offering help around your home and/or any help related to the pregnancy or with preparing for the baby," adds Dr Rastogi.
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