Don’t write off premature babies

THE NHS spends £10million a year resuscitating babies born at 23 weeks and keeping them on incubators and ventilators.  But despite 24/7 care, 91 PER CENT of them die. And only one in 100 survivors grows up without disability. The most common problems include blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy.

Leading NHS official Dr Daphne Austin ignited the debate this week when she said in a BBC documentary that keeping the babies alive simply “prolonged” their agony and argued the money would be better spent on cancer sufferers or the disabled.

Guidelines state doctors should not try to resuscitate babies born before 22 weeks as they are too under developed, but those born between 22 and 25 weeks should be given intensive care.

Around 350 babies a year are born at 23 weeks and nearly all are resuscitated as families cling to the hope they will survive.

Here, two mums talk of their 23-week premature babies and why NOT to give up hope.

POLICE officer Lucy Kirwan says her daughter, Matilda, was one of the lucky ones. Lucy, 30, lives in Stourbridge, West Midlands, with her husband Craig, 31, also a police officer, two-year-old son Charlie and Matilda, seven months.

“CHARLIE was born normally. So when I fell pregnant with twin girls last year it didn’t occur to us there would be problems. But at 22 weeks I was told there was a problem with the fluid around the babies.

After a weekend of not feeling very well, I went to Birmingham Women’s Hospital where a scan showed only one heartbeat. The next day, my waters broke.

Craig and I had spent the weekend on the internet working out what would happen if our baby was born at 27 or 28 weeks. We never thought we would have to worry about what would happen if she was born at 23 weeks.

A few days later I went into labour. I was only 23 weeks and six days pregnant.

We’d gone from buying things for the twins and feeling we’d got past the “safe” point of the 20-week scan to losing one baby, Alice Rose, and preparing to give birth to her very premature twin, Matilda. I didn’t have much hope.

Matilda did cry briefly when she was born, then her organs couldn’t cope and the doctors spent half an hour resuscitating her before taking her away. There were about 15 doctors and nurses in the room and alarms were going off.

But I had to give birth to her twin, then I had emergency surgery because the placenta was still attached so I wasn’t very aware of what was happening to Matilda…. continue reading

By Emma Cox
Source: The Sun

Potential Health Issues in Premature Babies

Because a premature baby is early he/she is more prone to health problems.  These tiny premature babies often have underdeveloped lungs as well as other issues and as a result have higher rates of disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

Because of the various health concerns a premature baby is given medical assistance immediately after delivery. Depending on how prematurely a baby arrives he/she is likely to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), for assessment to determine his/her medical needs.

My premature baby daughter Sky

Below are some of the more common conditions that occur in premature babies:

Respiratory Distress Syndrome
a breathing disorder related to the baby’s immature lungs.  Because a premature baby’s lungs frequently lack surfactant, a liquid substance that allows the lungs to remain expanded.  Artificial surfactants are often used to treat these tiny babies in conjunction with a ventilator to improve baby’s breathing and to help maintain sufficient oxygen levels in the blood.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
is the medical term used to describe babies who require oxygen over a longer period of time.  The severity of this condition varies and as baby’s lungs mature they tend to outgrow the condition.

Apnoea
is the medical term given when the regular breathing rhythm is interrupted for more than fifteen seconds.  The condition is often is associated with a reduced heart rate, known medically as bradycardia. A pulse oximeter is used to measure oxygen saturation a drop in oxygen is known as de-saturation. The majority of babies outgrow the condition by the time they go home.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
previously known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), is an eye disease that affects premature babies in which the retina is not fully developed. The majority of cases resolve without the need for treatment, although serious cases may require surgery. Both oxygen toxicity and relative hypoxia can contribute to the development of ROP.

Jaundice
is the result ofabuild in the baby’s blood of achemical called Bilirubin. As a result of this build up the baby’s skin takes on a yellow tinge. Treating the condition involves placing the undressed baby under special lights whilst covering baby’s eyes to protect them from damage.

(ArticlesBase SC #4110371)

About the Author: Sue Edmondson runs Prem2Pram the on line premature baby store http://www.prem2pram.co.uk as a mother herself of two premature babies she understands the difficulties parents face when their baby arrives early.

New drug approved to prevent premature birth

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug effective in preventing premature labor in women who have had at least one previous preterm delivery.

The new medication called Makena (hydroxyprogesterone caproate) is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone which is given in the form of weekly injections to women carrying a single fetus with no other risk factors.

A premature birth also known as preterm birth refers to a labor which occurs at least three weeks before a baby’s due date.

The rate of preterm birth has increased more than 35 percent in the last 25 years in the US and more than a half million babies — one in every 8 — are born prematurely each year. The cause for such preterm deliveries, however, remains elusive and unknown in many situations.
Preterm babies are at a greater risk of developing a wide variety of health and developmental complications such as lung problems, learning disabilities, and dying during infancy and even later on in childhood.

Read the full article

If you or a loved one has given birth to a premature baby then please visit Prem2Pram the on line premature baby store.

Premature Baby Health Issues

Because a premature baby is early he/she is more prone to health problems.  These tiny premature babies often have underdeveloped lungs as well as other issues and as a result have higher rates of disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

Because of the various health concerns a premature baby is given medical assistance immediately after delivery. Depending on how prematurely a baby arrives he/she is likely to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), for assessment to determine his/her medical needs.

Premature baby Girl

Below are some of the more common conditions that occur in premature babies:

Respiratory Distress Syndrome
a breathing disorder related to the baby’s immature lungs.  Because a premature baby’s lungs frequently lack surfactant, a liquid substance that allows the lungs to remain expanded.  Artificial surfactants are often used to treat these tiny babies in conjunction with a ventilator to improve baby’s breathing and to help maintain sufficient oxygen levels in the blood.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
is the medical term used to describe babies who require oxygen over a longer period of time.  The severity of this condition varies and as baby’s lungs mature they tend to outgrow the condition.

Apnoea
is the medical term given when the regular breathing rhythm is interrupted for more than fifteen seconds.  The condition is often is associated with a reduced heart rate, known medically as bradycardia. A pulse oximeter is used to measure oxygen saturation a drop in oxygen is known as de-saturation. The majority of babies outgrow the condition by the time they go home.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
previously known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), is an eye disease that affects premature babies in which the retina is not fully developed. The majority of cases resolve without the need for treatment, although serious cases may require surgery. Both oxygen toxicity and relative hypoxia can contribute to the development of ROP.

Jaundice
is the result of a build in the baby’s blood of a chemical called Bilirubin. As a result of this build up the baby’s skin takes on a yellow tinge. Treating the condition involves placing the undressed baby under special lights whilst covering baby’s eyes to protect them from damage.

 

 

Premature Baby Twin Boys Reunited

If you have not been following Eveline’s blog “Timeless” you will be unaware that her sister in law gave birth to twin boys Lewis and Jenson, Jenson was born at 2 lbs 10.  His brother Lewis followed less than 30 minutes later at 2 lbs 6. Both so tiny, they were taken away to be put in incubators.

After spending weeks and miles apart Lewis and Jenson have now been reunited

To ready Lewis and Jenson’s story please visit Eveline’s blog Timeless

If you or a family member are in need of premature baby clothes then please visit our on line shop prem2pram

No longer wearing premature baby clothes

Incubator-tahrir
Image via Wikipedia

My grandson Lucas who was born on the 12th June 2009 weighing 4lbs 13½ ozs.

premature Baby Lucas

He is now 15 months and is no longer wearing premature baby clothes, he has had a growth spurt and is now wearing clothes ages 12 to 18 months.

Lucas and Kerry

What a difference 15 months makes, you would never know that Lucas was once in premature baby clothes.

If you have recently had a premature baby born into your family then please visit Prem2Pram the online premature baby store.

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Virtual Life Leads to Reality Death

PRIUS ONLINE Open
Image by Tamahikari Tammas via Flickr

As the world of online gaming continues to grow many children enjoy playing virtual games such as Neopets, Neopets is a big community site based around the virtual pets that inhabit the virtual world of Neopia.  Players can take care of up to four virtual pets.

Another online game that is fast becoming popular is Second Life an online 3D virtual world where you enter a world with infinite possibilities and live a life without boundaries, guided only by your imagination.

A South Korean couple left their baby daughter to starve to death at home while at an Internet café they played an online game that simulated child rearing.  The couple would spend up to 12 hours playing an online virtual game where they “raised” an online girl character while neglecting their own prematurely born daughter.  It is alleged that the couple only fed their daughter once a day in between the 12-hour stretches at a neighbourhood Internet café.

The man aged 41 and his 25-year-old wife were arrested five months after they reported the death of their three-month-old baby; they had been on the run since their baby died.

The baby was found dead last September and an autopsy showed her death was caused by long-term malnutrition. The couple were formally arrested on the 4th March 2010.

Police are quoted as saying the couple had become obsessed with raising a virtual girl character called “Anima” in the popular role-playing game “Prius Online”.

They indulged themselves in the online game of raising a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby.”

There have been sporadic reports of deaths related to Internet game addiction in South Korea.  Last month a 32-year-old man died after reportedly playing a computer game for five days with few breaks.

© Sue Edmondson of Prem2Pram the online premature baby store

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