‘World’s smallest’ surviving premature baby discharged from US hospital

'World's smallest' surviving premature baby discharged from US hospital

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LOS ANGELES: The world’s tiniest baby ever to survive, weighing just 245 grams, as light as an Apple, has been discharged after five months, according to a hospital in the US. Baby Saybie was born at 23 weeks and three days last December at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns in San Diego.

Doctors told Saybie’s parents she had just hours to live. But five months on, she was discharged weighing a healthy 2.5 kilograms, confounding all expectations, the report added. A nurse who cared for Saybie as she battled for survival said her recovery and release earlier this month was a “miracle”.

Her mother was experiencing complications and underwent an emergency cesarean section after doctors discovered the baby was not gaining weight and the mother’s life was thought to be at risk, the report added. “It was the scariest day of my life. I just felt very uncomfortable, and I thought, maybe this was part of the pregnancy,” said Saybie’s mother in a video released by the hospital.

At first, doctors were not confident Saybie would defy the odds, telling the baby’s parents to start preparing for the worst: Saybie’s father was told he would have about an hour with her before she would die. “But, that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week,” said Saybie’s mother, whom the hospital has not named since she requested that she stay anonymous.

It was distressing at the moment, the mother said, but she is now overjoyed looking back at what she now calls a “beautiful” experience. A pink sign by her crib read “Tiny but Mighty.”  When she left the unit earlier this month, nurses placed a miniature graduation cap on her. “She is the smallest baby. But she’s mine,” the mother said.

Dr Edward Bell of the University of Iowa, which maintains the Tiniest Babies Registry, confirmed that Saybie is the smallest baby the registry has ever recorded. “Baby Saybie has the lowest birth weight among the infants in the Tiniest Babies Registry. The registry contains only those infants submitted and medically confirmed. We cannot rule out even smaller infants who have not been reported to the registry,” Bell told.

The previous record was held by a baby girl from Germany, born weighing 252 grams pounds in 2015, according to the registry, operated by the University of Iowa. A baby, born weighing just 268 grams in Japan earlier this year, is thought to be the smallest boy to have survived premature birth.

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