Guest Column

Baby born 14 weeks premature goes home after four months in hospital

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(Right to Life UK) A baby born 14 weeks early has gone home after four months in hospital.

Baby Marta was born at the City Hospital in Ruda, Silesia, in southern Poland at just 26 weeks gestation. She weighed less than 400g when she was born in September last year but after she was discharged last week, she weighed a healthy 2.5kg.

The hospital said “From the beginning of her life, she bravely fought against adversity”.

“She has never required intubation or mechanical ventilation, which is unique among extremely premature babies and extremely low birth weight”.

“Thanks to the multi-specialist care of the entire Neonatology Department of the Municipal Hospital in Ruda Śląska … and the determination of her parents, she managed to win the fight for life”.

The attending physician Marta Twardoch-Drozd said “I am very happy knowing that from today [baby] Marta’s family will be complete”.

“Many weeks of hard work are behind us; now it’s time for parents and siblings to enjoy [Marta]’s presence at home”.

Babies born before 28 weeks in the UK are considered extremely premature and there are often serious medical problems, both short and long term. However, it seems that baby Marta, despite being born just two weeks after the abortion limit in the UK, has managed to avoid most of these difficulties.

Almost four out of five babies born prematurely between 22 and 28 weeks gestation survive to discharge from the hospital according to recent research.

A study, ‘Mortality, In-Hospital Morbidity, Care Practices, and 2-Year Outcomes for Extremely Preterm Infants in the US, 2013-2018’, by Dr Edward F Bell of the University of Iowa, found that from 2013 to 2018, with infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation, “survival to discharge occurred in 78.3% and was significantly improved compared with a historical rate of 76.0% among infants born in 2008-2012”.

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The study, which took place between 2013 and 2018, assessed 10,877 infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation in 19 academic medical centres across the US.

This means that almost four out of five extremely prematurely-born babies survived and were able to be assessed at 22-26 months corrected age (22-26 months from their due date) for a number of health and functional outcomes.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “The outcomes for extremely premature babies are improving all the time and it is wonderful to hear that baby Marta has gone home despite the odds being stacked against her.”

Editor’s Note: This article was published at Right to Life UK and is reprinted here with permission.

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