9 March 2019, UAE: Neonatologists in Abu Dhabi have succeeded in looking after and discharging an Emirati baby girl born at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children at 23 weeks and 3 days of pregnancy (around five months of gestation). Her birth weight was 550 grams and her height was only 30 centimeters. Her case is considered rare world-wide, being born at 23 weeks, and weighing so little compared with the ideal weight of babies born at full-term pregnancy, which is usually more than 2500 grams.
Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Managing Director & CEO at United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical), the parent organization of Danat Al Emarat Hospital, said “The capabilities of our medical multi-disciplinary team at Danat Al Emarat Hospital are evident in caring for rare and complex cases. The newborn was treated in a timely manner by the hospital’s Neonatology team at the hospital’s level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) led by a team of internationally-trained neonatologists and qualified NICU nurses. The baby was admitted for 132 days in the NICU and 4 days at the pediatrics ward.”
“Danat Al Emarat Hospital is home to a comprehensive scope of subspecialties which are led by highly qualified medical experts and equipped with state-of-the-art technologies aiming to continuously provide high-level of quality care,” Mr. Al Shorafa added.
Dr. Iviano Ossuetta, Head of Neonatology and Consultant at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children, said “The case is very rare. Studies show that the global incidence of birth at 23 weeks of pregnancy is about 5 births per 10 thousand births, and the survival rate of such newborns may be as low as 29%. Almost all organs of the newborn at this gestation age would not be fully developed, including the lungs, and could not fully function, which requires hospitalization in an advanced incubator offering as much as possible a similar environment to the mother’s uterus whilst providing respiratory, nutritional and other life support until the newborn reaches the age of 35 weeks of gestation and weighs more than 1800 grams.”
He said, “Comprehensive tests were performed for the newborn at the time of birth and during her stay in the hospital, including tests for her retina, heart, brain in addition to other screening tests performed for all newborns at Danat Al Emarat Hospital. Before leaving the NICU, the latest tests showed that all her organs were well developed and functional.”
He added, “The total number of newborns delivered at Danat Al Emarat Hospital has reached 12,000 births since the opening of the hospital in October 2015. Of these newborns, 1,270 were admitted to the NICU for different reasons, and 150 of them were premature babies born at 33 weeks of pregnancy or less. Amongst them were 10 babies born at weeks 23-26 of pregnancy (extreme prematurity), and the youngest is Reema Abdullah Al-Kaabi, who was born at 23 weeks of pregnancy, and is considered to be “extreme premature newborn”.”
Mr. Mariano Gonzalez, CEO of Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children, said “the case of our smallest newborn is another milestone in our list of achievements that we are truly proud of. The baby was discharged from the hospital, weighing 2500 grams and in good health. With the complexity of cases we see, we are considered to be a regional referral center for high risk pregnancies, rare cases, sick newborns and premature babies. The service lines and expertise in obstetrics, fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatric surgery and pediatric cardiology are fundamental to continue delivering medical excellence and quality care to our patients.”
The father, Mr. Abdullah Ali Al-Kaabi, expressed his gratitude for saving the life of his newborn, Reema. He said, “Her mother had signs of early labor at her 5th month of pregnancy. After stabilizing baby Reema, I was considering to transfer her abroad for treatment, but the physicians assured me that the care provided here would be the same elsewhere and that there were risks associated with such a transfer.”
He added, “We have witnessed the great care that the physicians and nurses at Danat Al Emarat have provided my wife and my baby, and were glad that we chose Danat Al Emarat for her birth and through her stay at the NICU. Thanks to Allah, we have left the hospital in good health after a stay of nearly four months. I truly appreciate the care and medical excellence that was provided to my baby and my family. I would like to thank the management of the hospital and the medical and nursing staff for their professionalism and exceptional care.”