The baby, who was born preterm on April 17, tested positive for coronavirus a week after birth and has been described as one of the youngest COVID-19 survivors.

A hand of new born childImage for representation purpose only.
news COVID19 childcare Sunday, May 23, 2021 - 19:19

A one-month-old baby suffering from COVID-19 recovered from the disease in Hyderabad-based KIMS Cuddles hospital and has now been discharged, to the parents' joy. The baby, considered one of the youngest COVID-19 survivors, is said to have tested positive for the virus a week after birth earlier in April. The baby has returned home after recovering from the hospital following weeks of treatment and has been cited as a 'story of hope'.

The baby was born preterm on April 17 at 28 weeks, due to severe COVID-19 in the mother who was on mechanical ventilator support. Born with a birth weight of just 1,000 grams, the baby was initially treated for prematurity-related respiratory distress, the baby's first coronavirus screening swab came out negative.

On the eighth day after birth, the baby's oxygen levels fell and the baby was facing increasing breathing difficulties that required ventilation. A repeat PCR test concluded that the baby was SARS-COV2 positive. The baby, who then weighed only 920 grams, was put on a ventilator and shifted to COVID-19 isolation ICU by the team of doctors.

"The newborn was nursed by our team of doctors and nurses in personal protective equipment in a specialised isolation neonatal ICU and provided ventilatory support, intravenous antibiotics, and nutrition. The neonate was monitored with multipara monitors showing a real time display of its vitals such as blood pressure, oxygen saturations etc. The ventilator support was weaned to nasal ventilation and later to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). The newborn was managed with a combination of supportive care and steroids," said Dr C. Aparna, Clinical Director - Neonatology and Senior Consultant Neonatology and Paediatrics, KIMS Cuddles.

The family including father Rahul, a medical coder by profession and mother Bala Mounika, who recovered from COVID-19, was constantly updated about the newborn's clinical condition over video calls. Efforts were made to motivate the mother to send expressed breast milk due to the numerous advantages of the same.

After clinical recovery and another PCR test, the baby was shifted out of isolation, nursed in a radiant warm room and given appropriate developmentally supportive care with mother's milk, kangaroo care, micronutrient supplementation and thermal support.

The baby started consistently gaining nearly 15-20 grams a day and was transitioned from tube feeds to oral feeding. After nearly 30 days of meticulous medical attention in the hospital, the baby was discharged into its parents' care in good health on breastfeeding with a weight of 1,500 grams on May 17.

The team at KIMS Cuddles has so far delivered 35 mothers who have COVID-19 of which only two newborns tested positive - both tested positive in the second week suggesting postnatal transmission. All babies survived, with only  20% requiring NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) admission.

With IANS inputs