Friday, December 24, 2004

244 grams baby endures
"CHICAGO (AP) — A premature infant believed to be the smallest baby ever to survive was called “a great blessing” by her mother, who is preparing to take the little girl and her twin sister home from the hospital.
The baby, named Rumaisa, weighed 244 grams — less than a can of soda — when she was delivered by Caesarean section September 19 at Loyola University Medical Center. That is 37 grams smaller than the previous record holder, who was born at the same hospital in 1989, according to hospital spokeswoman Sandra Martinez. ...
Dr. Jonathan Muraskas, a professor of neonatal-perinatal medicine, said several factors may have improved the babies’ chances of survival. Babies born before 23 weeks do not have fully developed lungs and are usually not viable, but those born before the 25th week can survive. Muraskas said girls are also more likely to survive than boys when born at less than 368.5 grams , and the twins could have been helped by their mother’s health problems. “Sometimes, when babies are stressed in utero, that can accelerate maturity,” he said. Muraskas said the twins were placed on ventilators for a few weeks and fed intravenously for a week or two until nurses could give them breast milk through feeding tubes..."