Weighing 495gm at Birth, Sayali May be India’s Smallest Surviving Baby
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18 February 2011
When she was born in a city hospital on October 2 last year, Sayali’s feet were barely half the size of an adult finger. A premature child at 27 weeks of pregnancy and weighing only 495 grams, Sayali is believed to be the smallest surviving baby in India. She was discharged after being kept for three months in intensive care.
Sayali’s 36–year–old mother Shaila Pawar says her child is simply "invaluable". Before this, Shaila had gone through 13 pregnancies, which ended in three abortions and ten stillborn births. Abrupt elevation in blood pressure was the common reason for each of those unsuccessful pregnancies.
"Sayali weighed only 495 grams and was a foot long at the time of birth," said neonatologist Tushar Parikh, in–charge of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at ONP Tulip Hospital here. "To save a baby of this size was challenging. There is no reported survival of a baby weighing this little in India. The last reported smallest surviving baby weighed 540 grams at birth."
Parikh pointed out that he has successfully managed babies smaller than Sayali, but not in India. "Sayali was discharged on December 30. She currently weighs 2.4 kg. The baby is hale and hearty and doing fine," he said.
Sandeep and Smita Dole, a doctor couple from Narayangaon who managed Shaila’s pregnancy, said that her blood pressure would spike abruptly during pregnancy. "This is called pregnancy induced hypertension, commonly referred to as PIH," said Smita.
Senior obstetrician Neena Sathe of the hospital said, "Shaila first came to us when she was six months’ pregnant. As she was showing early signs of PIH, we started her on anti–hypertensives."
This mother is only grateful to have her baby
Pune: For Shaila Pawar, her daughter Sayali is simply ‘invaluable’. Before having Sayali, Shaila had gone through 13 pregnancies, which ended in three abortions and ten stillborn births, due to abrupt elevation in blood pressure.Shaila’s doctor Neena Sathe said, "Shaila first came to us when she was six months’ pregnant. As she was showing early signs of PIH, we started her on anti–hypertensives."
However, Shaila’s blood pressure shot up abruptly when at home some time later. The Doles brought her to ONP Tulip, where she was showing early signs of impaired brain and visual function. The doctors opted for an emergency caesarean section.
"The baby was gasping for oxygen at birth," Parikh recalled. "She required artificial breathing support and was then transferred to the neonatal ICU. She was put on advanced respiratory support and in an advanced incubator baby care system." The body organs of babies born this small are known to function poorly. These organs, which include the lungs, heart, brain, kidneys, intestines and skin, need support for the survival of the child.
"Problems related to any one system can cause death. Specialized baby care from the time of birth is extremely important and is the main determinant of the survival of these tiny babies," said hospital director Amita Phadnis.
Shaila, meanwhile, considers her baby’s survival as nothing but a miracle. "As a parent, I have no words to express my feelings. We are grateful to the doctors for the great job they have done," she said.