The life of a baby girl, born premature at 23 weeks and weighing only 400 grams, has been saved following intensive care at Al Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi.
The girl's weight at birth was the lowest recorded in the emirate, Al Etihad newspaper reported.
Dr Fatima Ibrahim, a paediatrician, said that the baby needed immediate intensive care. With her birth weight less than a quarter of normal levels for newborns, the baby's chances of survival were further reduced because of a lower immunity and difficulty of breathing.
“We had to assist her breathing since the lungs were still in the process of growing but the medical team was faced with several other challenges including the possibility of hemorrhage due to severely weak blood vessels at this age and weight, but with close follow-up and intensive monitoring, we were past danger,” Dr Ibrahim said.
The baby also had severe inflammation of the blood and suffered from a problem in her eyes but rapid intervention prevented damage to the retina.
Dr Ibrahim said that the baby's recovery was aided greatly by her mother being able to provide breast milk, despite living about 200 kilometres away in Al Gharbia.
"The mother's co-operation had a great role in that she would cross a long distance from the Ruwais area to Mafraq Hospital to provide milk for her child until she reached 2.315kg, which helped prevent an inflammation in the intestines," said Dr Ibrahim.
After the treatment concluded - carried out over a period of five months - the baby was finally discharged last week.
Dr Ibrahim said that the medical team would continue to follow up on the baby's mental and physical growth and her overall health.