A girl in India who was born weighing less than a chocolate bar managed to survive all odds of being born prematurely and is now Asia's smallest surviving baby.
Weighed 400 Grams At Birth
The now 6-month old Manushi, who was born at 28 weeks, only weighed 400 grams at birth.
She was born to a couple who was married for 35 years. In June last year, Manushi's 48-year old mother suffered from high blood pressure halfway through the pregnancy. An ultrasound also revealed cut blood flow to the fetus, prompting the doctors to conduct an emergency c-section.
When Manushi was born, she measured just 8.6 inches. Her tiny feet were only slightly bigger than a fingernail. The child was not breathing when she was born but her parents wanted to keep her alive. She was brought to a neonatal intensive care unit where she was put on a ventilator to expand her immature lungs.
Pediatricians who looked after her started with parenteral nutrition, providing the nutrients needed into Manushi's blood circulation.
Her parents and doctors fought to keep her alive and healthy and their efforts appeared to have paid off. The baby survived after her premature birth and has gained normalcy after a 6-month-long clinical course.
By the seventh week, she was able to digest milk. By her fourth month, she was able to drink from a spoon. The baby was finally discharged from the hospital on Thursday.
Sunil Janged, the neonatologist who led doctors and nursing staff at the Jivanta Children's Hospital in the effort to ensure the survival of the child, said that Manushi was the smallest newborn baby to survive in South Asia.
Janged said that the biggest challenge for them was to protect the child from any infection. She needed multiple blood transfusion during her stay at the NICU. The tiny baby also needed respiratory support on and off because she used to hold breath when sleeping.
"To salvage a baby of this size was a challenging task. There is no reported survival of a newborn weighing this small in the Indian sub-continent," said Janged.
When she was discharged from the hospital on Thursday, Manushi weighed close to 2,400 grams.
Medical experts said that babies this small have less than 0.5 percent odds of surviving without brain damage due to an extremely poor function of the body organs. Nonetheless, the child's brain appears to be structurally normal and her eyes are developing normally.