Europe's youngest premature baby is a medical sensation
On November 7, 2010 little Frieda was born much too early. In the 21st week of pregnancy, with a height of 26 cm and a weight of 460 grams, the doctors gave her little chance of survival. But thanks to medical progress, the now 18-month-old girl is very healthy and lively. The specialist society for newborn medicine in Lübeck speaks of a "sensation" because there is no known case in Europe in which such a young premature baby would have survived. Reinald Repp, head of the children's clinic at Fulda Clinic, and Frieda's mother Yvonne report to the news agency "dpa" about the girl's positive development.
Twin brother of premature baby Frieda died of a heart failure
Pregnancy usually lasts 40 weeks. The fact that little Frieda survived as the youngest premature baby in Europe after just over half the time in her womb borders on a medical miracle. Twin brother Kilian also survived the difficult birth, but died six weeks later of poor heart performance. Mother Yvonne reports that incorrect gynecological counseling for a polyp led to serious complications in pregnancy. "The fact that Frieda packed it is thanks to the great team at Fulda Clinic," she adds. The statistics show that the Fula Clinic achieves above-average success in the treatment of premature babies. Reinald Repp, head of the children's clinic at the hospital, sees one major reason for the medical change: "Five years ago, a premature baby would not have had a chance at this stage." Progress was made in ventilation, nutrition and drug therapy for premature babies. In Fulda, premature babies weighing less than 500 grams now have survival chances of 60 to 65 percent.
The chances of survival for premature babies also depend heavily on their birth weight and general health. The probability that a prematurely born child will survive in Germany today is greater than ever. But the smaller and younger the premature baby, the greater the risk of permanent and severe damage, reports the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG). According to a long-term study, development deficits are found in about a third of premature babies. 16 percent are severely disabled.
Frieda's doctor is satisfied with her development
18 months after her dramatic birth, Repp is satisfied with the development of little Frieda. Mother Yvonne reports: “Frieda is fine. She laughs a lot and is a sunshine. ”Be brave and learn quickly. Although the girl has caught up a lot after she was born with a height of only 26 centimeters and a weight of 460 grams, her development is still lagging behind in comparison to her peers who were not born prematurely. "She has eating problems, is a bit picky," explains the mother.
Frieda is now 72 centimeters tall and weighs 6.3 kilograms. The girl makes a fidgety, bright impression. “She seems to be well developed mentally and in terms of motor skills and is very healthy. We also got their eye problems under control. The little girl seems to be very smart and can quickly see connections, ”says Repp. Nevertheless, Frieda's mother remains concerned. Although normality in family life has now returned, the mother has not yet digested the difficult time in which the girl fought for her life. "The fear for Frieda is still big. You are constantly in the attention position. I don't get the premature switch somehow, ”she reports. “I rarely look at photos from the first few weeks. It scratches my ego that I couldn't spare Frieda all this, that she had to go through so much. ”
It is not yet possible to predict whether Frieda will later be a normally developed, healthy child. Statistically, there are risks of hyperactivity, reduced alertness or eating disorders. Frieda's family does not want to be discouraged and look to the future positively. First, the mother wants to use the three-year parental leave to fully concentrate on Frieda. "And then we're planning a little sibling for Frieda," she says. There was no increased risk of premature birth for further pregnancies.
United Nations Alerting Premature Newborn Report
While the chances of survival of premature babies in Germany are very good due to the good medical care and constant progress in this area, the situation is much more dramatic in many other countries. According to the first United Nations (UN) report on premature babies, around one million premature babies die worldwide each year. In general, there was an increase in premature births. This applies to both developing countries and industrialized nations.
The consequences of premature birth vary greatly - depending on where the child is born. Christopher Howson of the March of Dimes aid organization explains that there is a dramatic gap between developing countries and industrialized nations. Epidemiologist Joy Lawn reports that children who have been in the womb for more than 25 weeks have a 50 percent chance of survival in the industrialized nations, whereas children who are born in Africa or South Asia around the 30th week of pregnancy, i.e. only eight weeks early would have a much higher risk of dying. (ag)
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