Nirvaan, a baby born in the 22nd week of pregnancy weighing just 610 grammes, won his battle for life. After 132 days in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), he now weighs 3.72 kilos, and is out of intensive care. the his parents will take him home on Sunday. Doctors at Surya Hospital in Santacruz, which treated Nirvaan, said that he is probably India’s most premature baby to have survived.
Nirvaan’s mother, a 34-year-old Bandra resident (who has asked not to be named) had what seemed to be a normal pregnancy, but on May 12, she suddenly went into labour. Nirvaan was born with extremely underdeveloped organs.
In the NICU, 14 doctors across specialities and over 50 nurses took care of Nirvaan around the clock. He spent six weeks on a ventilator and another six weeks on a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine. He also needed steroids for a month (to reduce lung inflammation and bring him off respiratory aids), antibiotics and insulin therapy (to handle rising sugar levels from the steroid treatment), multiple blood transfusions, laser treatment (he had developed retinopathy).
“He had to be closely monitored all the time,” says neonatologist Dr Nandkishor Kabra. “At times, we lose our fight when such babies develop internal bleeding or air accumulation in the lungs but fortunately the baby did not develop any such complications.”
Dr. Haribalakrishna Balasubramanian, neonatologist, says, “For the first six weeks, we could not say anything about the outcome. We had found very limited evidence worldwide about the survival rate of such babies. But this one was a fighter.”
“Nirvaan is going home with a completely clear heart, brain and bone scan,” says Dr Bhupendra Avasthi, director of Surya Hospital.
Nirvaan’s name means bliss, and that’s what his parents are feeling. His mother said, “Since his birth, I never let even one negative thought cross my mind about him. We have seen him gone through a lot, but finally we can now have some parental bonding that we missed out as he was in the NICU.” The parents spent an estimated ₹15 to ₹20 lakh for the NICU care. His father refused to divulge the exact amount but said, “It was expensive,” adding, “Those who have the resources should definitely give their babies a chance.”