Tiny twin girls born at just 24 weeks have become the smallest to survive in India.
The micro sisters, weighing 600 grams and 620 grams, fought for four months in the neonatal ICU of Jivanta Children s Hospital, Udaipur, after they were born on October 25, 2017.
The sisters, named Shristi and Dhristi, were struggling to breathe at birth as their lungs and guts were not properly developed.
Over a period of 80 days, they were kept on a ventilator and another 25 days at the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital.
During this period, the twins were given medicines that helped expand their lungs.
Shristi and Dhristi were fed essential nutrients through an IV line.
After spending around five months at the facility, when the twins weighed 2kg and 1.94kg, they were discharged from the hospital.
Dr. Sunil Janged, Chief Neonatologist at Jivanta Children Hospital, said: ‘It was a long and tough journey for me and my team. At the best of centres, only 30% of such babies born this early survive.
‘Most doctors do not even attempt to save such babies, as the possibility of healthy survival is low.
‘It is the latest technology, the high end expertise of our NICU team, which has pulled this off’.
The twin’s parents, Chinta Devi and Chandeshwar Ram, from Motihari, Bihar, have been married for 21 years and conceived the girls through IVF.
Chinta suffered from high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and started bleeding at 24 weeks of her pregnancy.
Dr Simi Sood said: ‘As the survival of the babies was getting compromised, she was taken up for emergency caesarean section,
‘At the beginning. the babies were struggling to breathe, so they were put on a ventilator and given surfactant to expand their tiny immature lungs.
‘The babies had an infection in their blood, heart functions and pumping was poor.
‘They also had large connection between two major vessels [patent ductus arteriosus], which was closed with medicines. Their gut was immature & could not be fed, so babies were put on TPN which means giving all essential nutrients such as protein, carbohydrate by blood.
‘To get blood access umbilical lines were put. Such babies lose water very quickly through their parchment like skin & their weight drops down further.
‘Regular screening of heart & brain were performed to rule out any bleeding in brain. Due to brain immaturity baby used to forget to breathe, we call it apnea of prematurity. Babies required ventilatory support for 80 days and multiple blood transfusions.
Chandreshwar Ram, the father of the twins, said: ‘All this would not have been possible without the support of Doctors and Jivanta management team. It was not possible for us to bear hospital expenses as we belong from a low income family from Bihar.
‘The hospital waived 50% of the treatment cost to send a pro-girl tolerance message to the society.
Dr Pradeep Suryawanshi, senior neonatologist from Pune, added: ‘The existing record for smallest twins to survive in India is from Kerala – twin girls weighing 452g and 500g.
‘Babies born this small have extremely poor functioning of all body organs and all of them need support for survival. This is where skilled and dedicated neonatologists & nursing staff are required, as the margin of error is close to zero.
‘Problems related to any single system can singularly kill the baby & only 5-10% survive without brain damage.’