Twin boys from Udaipur are among the smallest premature babies ever to survive in India.
The local news celebrated the boys’ release from the Jivanta Children’s Hospital after more than four months in intensive care.
On Jan. 20, Shobha Kunwar delivered her twins at 26 weeks of pregnancy after she went into early labor, according to the report. The boys, whose names are not included in reports, weighed just 475 grams (1.05 pounds) and 617 grams (1.4 pounds) at birth. They are believed to be some of the smallest premature babies to ever survive in India.
For four months, the twins struggled through heart problems, infections and underdeveloped lungs, but their parents and the Jivanta medical team did not give up hope.
The twins continued to grow healthier, and recently became well enough to go home with their parents, Kunwar and her husband, Ganpat Singh, according to the report. The couple said they are very grateful for the doctors’ work in saving their sons.
Dr. Pradeep Suryawanshi, a senior neonatologist at the hospital, said the twins’ story should encourage other families to hope.
“This story highlights the fact that ultra micro preemie born in developing countries not only have a chance, but also the right to survive and live a normal life,” Suryawanshi said. “Sophisticated neonatal care and teamwork could make that happen. Intact survival of such micro preemies may be a daunting task, but not impossible.”
Dr. Sunil Janged, the chief neonatologist at the hospital, said many doctors in India do not attempt to save premature babies at such an early stage.
“It was a long and tough journey for me and my team,” Janged said. “It is the latest technology and the high-end expertise of our NICU team, which has pulled this off.”
Across the world, very premature babies are surviving at greater rates than ever before.
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Late last year, the journal Pediatrics highlighted a baby girl in the United States who survived after being born 21 weeks and four days after conception. The girl, who now is 3, is believed to be the youngest premature baby to survive.
A Duke University study published in 2017 reported that babies born at just 23 weeks gestation are surviving outside the womb at a greater rate than ever before. Researchers examined 4,500 babies between 2000 and 2011 and found a “small but significant drop in fatalities for babies born between 23 and 37 weeks gestation,” as well as a decrease in premature babies manifesting neurophysiological problems, the Daily Mail reported.