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Baby Born at 23 Weeks of Pregnancy at Danat Al Emarat Hospital

Gets Discharged Home After 160 Days Stay in NICU

Physicians at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children in Abu Dhabi, a Mubadala Health partner, have saved the life of a baby, born at week 23 of pregnancy. At birth, the new-born weighed 600 grams only. He required immediate admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where he stayed for 160 days. During this stay, he received the needed medical care and underwent two surgical procedures. At discharge from hospital, the baby weighed 3.88 KG and was in good health. 

Dr. Mohaymen Abdelghany, CEO of Danat Al Emarat Hospital appraised the relentless efforts of the physicians and nurses in the NICU in saving the lives of premature and sick babies such as baby Adel following the best international protocols. He stated, “the NICU at Danat Al Emarat Hospital is accredited as Level III by the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, and has successfully dealt with more than 130 premature babies that were born before completing 27 weeks of gestation only in the past 5 years and today we are celebrating the youngest preemie who was born at 23 weeks. Our clinical outcomes are testament to the advanced services provided at the NICU, the qualifications and expertise of our clinicians, and the technologies embedded in the unit.”

“Danat Al Emarat encompasses an advanced obstetrics and gynecology team that welcomes over 5500 new-borns annually. Since the hospital opening in October 2015, over 26,000 babies were born at the hospital. With the complexity of cases we see, having obstetrics, fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatric surgery, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, ophthalmology and pediatric cardiology all under one roof makes us a regional referral center for high-risk pregnancies including rare cases, sick newborns, premature babies and those needing pediatric surgical intervention. According to the hospital statistics, 10 – 15% of the hospital’s deliveries require admission to the NICU either because of different illnesses or because they were born premature before the 35th week of pregnancy,” Dr. Abdelghany added. “These babies are extremely small, fragile, and their skin is too delicate, seeing them discharged all grown up and healthy is truly rewarding.” 

Dr. Sadoon Sami Sadoon, Chief Medical Officer and Obstetrics & Gynecology Consultant at Danat Al Emarat Hospital said, “the case of baby Adel is another milestone in our list of achievements that we are truly proud of. Our newly expanded NICU, where baby Adel stayed, consists of 33 beds, and is equipped with the latest technologies and led by an internationally-trained team of 3 neonatology consultants, 7 specialists and 44 nurses specialized in caring for extremely premature babies. Our multi-disciplinary approach is truly fundamental to continue delivering medical excellence and quality care to our little patients, and achieving positive clinical outcomes.”

Dr. Duaa Al Masri, Neonatology Consultant and one of the neonatologists who provided care for Adel, stated “Adel was born by spontaneous vaginal delivery on March 20 at the first day of week 23 of pregnancy, and it is one of the very rare cases, as the survival rates for children born at week 23 of pregnancy is between 10-30%, according to international studies, but we held on to hope. He was admitted to the NICU right away and we’ve conducted a series of urgent medical procedures to preserve his life, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and he was placed on a mechanical ventilator and fed with intravenous nutrition.”

She added, “11 days after his birth, Adel needed surgical intervention because there was a hole in his small intestine, and his condition wasn’t improving despite treatment with antibiotics and some other medicines. A surgery was performed to remove parts of the damaged intestine, and also to create an opening at the beginning of the small intestine to change the path of food to the outside to give time for the rest of intestine to heal and at the same time to prepare Adel for the second corrective surgery. Two months later, the pediatric surgical team performed the second surgery to close the hole and correct the position of the intestines to normal. We work very closely with different subspecialties to provide our babies with complete care; this includes our pediatric surgeons who specialize in neonatal surgeries, and have the experience and qualifications to perform surgeries for children with very small weight, such as Adel’s case.”

Dr. Al Masri indicated that the child’s condition began to gradually improve. “He stayed with us for 160 days and was recently allowed to leave the hospital. He visited us with his family few days ago. We were so happy to see him well and healthy, thanks to Allah. As per our protocols at Danat Al Emarat, preemies are discharged from the NICU after receiving the necessary treatment, only if the child weighs at least 1.8 kg, and had completed 35 weeks in terms of the number of weeks of pregnancy. We also ensure that the baby is able to breastfeed or drink milk, and that all his vital signs are stable. In terms of how long the baby stays in NICU, it also depends on the health condition of the baby after birth. The earlier the baby is born, the longer the period of his stay in NICU, which can extend from one month to six months in some cases and sometimes longer.”

Dr. Sridhar Kalyanasundaram, Head of Neonatology at Danat Al Emarat Hospital said, “Studies show that nearly 8-10% of all deliveries happen before 37 weeks of pregnancy (premature) and around 1.5-2% of deliveries happen before 29 weeks (very preterm), which is why our hospital has an excellent level III NICU dedicated to managing these preterm babies. We also have an advanced fetal medicine unit that can provide early diagnoses and set out clear management plans for dealing with high-risk pregnancies, like those with congenital anomalies. Equally, the existence of other pediatric subspecialties including pediatric cardiology, pediatrtic surgery, orthopedics, ophthalmology, pulmonology, rehabilitation, lactation consultants and others are as important to provide comprehensive care to these very small babies. Our survival rates and outcome match any international center of repute, and our team including our excellent NICU nurses work hard to support the families during the stressful time that they face.” 

Mr. Samer Abu Snaineh, the father of baby Adel, expressed his gratitude upon the discharge of his child from the hospital and taking him home after 160 days. “We are so happy to be back home with Adel. Seeing my wife hold him is truly the best reward ever. The past period wasn’t easy on us both. We used to visit the NICU on daily basis few times. We were unable to be apart from Adel, and we built a special bond with the NICU team. They all were family to us. They know what parents go through in cases as such. We are thankful to everyone, particularly the medical and nursing team at the NICU, the pediatric surgeons, the physiotherapists, the ophthalmologists, and everyone who cared for our son and drew a smile on our faces. We were extremely lucky to have chosen Danat Al Emarat for his birth and through his stay at the NICU.” 

To know the full story of baby Adel, please click on the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nud_d4TiEwY 

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