Vietnamese doctors make miracle by saving premature twins weighing 500g each

October, 06/2022 - 15:57
The twins, one boy and one girl, were born on May 16 weighing 500g each. Now after nearly five months, the baby girl is 3.1kg and the boy is 3.6kg, Associate Professor Trần Danh Cường, the hospital director, told media on Wednesday.

HÀ NỘI — Doctors at the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology have saved premature twins born after just 25 weeks.

The twins, one boy and one girl, were born on May 16 weighing 500g each. Now after nearly five months, the baby girl is 3.1kg and the boy is 3.6kg, Associate Professor Trần Danh Cường, the hospital director, told media on Wednesday.

“That is a miracle for my family and the babies,” said the 26-year-old mother from Ứng Hòa District, Hà Nội.

Five months ago when she went into labour in the 25th week of her pregnancy, the mother was infected with COVID-19.

Her family thought there was almost no hopes that the twins would survive.

According to doctors, the survival rate of premature babies with the weight under 1kg is less than 30 per cent.

Dr Lê Minh Trác, director of Neonatal Care and Treatment Centre under the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said infants weighing less than 1kg and born at the 28th pregnancy week or earlier are considered to be extremely premature.

“Their immature organs are vulnerable," Trác said.

"Babies are prone to risks such as asphyxia, respiratory failure, hypothermia, cerebral haemorrhage, intestinal necrosis, neonatal infection, metabolic disorders and jaundice. Later, risks can be retinal diseases, vulnerability to infections, diabetes and high blood pressure.”

The twins received neonatal intravenous feeding and breathing assistance from a machine over 70 days.

Neonatal intravenous feeding is a method in which nutritional fluid is administered directly into a vein to provide nutrients to the body.

Dr Trác added: “Intravenous feeding is extremely difficult as the babies’ arms and legs were smaller than the adult’s little finger. In the first six days, each of them received 1ml of milk per meal. After two weeks it increased to 6ml per meal. After 23 days, each sucked 10ml per meal.”

Other challenges were to avoid infection and stabilise body temperatures for the twins, according to doctors.

Speaking to media on Wednesday, Associate Professor Trần Danh Cường, director of the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said the twins are now able to breath on their own and each of them sucks 600-700ml of milk per day.

“The babies have made improvements day by day. They can smile and show their pleasure receiving a massage,” he said.

“The twins are in a good health. The risk of infant complications remains low,” he said.

Associate Professor Trần Danh Cường and the twins' family. — Photo suckhoedoisong.vn

The twins mother told Sức Khỏe&Đời Sống (Life and Health) newspaper: “Doctors have done things few people can imagine.”

The Centre for Neonatal Care and Treatment under the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has successfully applied techniques in new-born treatment and care to limit the risk of extreme premature birth defects right at the delivery room.

The babies were kept in isolated multi-layered anti-infection incubators and received light treatment for jaundice.

Associate Professor Cường said: “The hospital saved a premature infant weighting 400-500g earlier but this was the first time we saved premature twins.”

“I’m proud that the centre’s skills and expertise in taking care of premature babies and sick children have reached a high level. We not only help infertile families to become parents but also save babies born in unfavourable conditions.

“We have mastered advanced obstetric techniques, affirming expertise of Vietnamese doctors in saving extremely premature infants and low birthweights.” — VNS