Hyderabad: A baby, who had tested positive for COVID-19 a week after birth last month, has returned home after recovering at a private hospital here.
Described as one of the youngest COVID-19 survivors, the baby was discharged last week, doctors at KIMS Cuddles said on Sunday.
The baby was born pre-term on April 17, due to severe COVID-19 in the mother needing mechanical ventilatory support. Born with a birth weight of just 1,000 grams and treated initially for prematurity-related respiratory distress, the baby’s first COVID-19 screening swab came out negative.
On the eighth day after birth, the baby’s oxygen levels were falling and the baby was facing increasing breathing difficulty that required ventilation. A repeat PCR test culminated that the baby was SARS-COV2 positive. The baby, who then weighed only 920 grams, was put on 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 multi para 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, were constantly updated about the newborn’s clinical condition using video calls. Efforts were undertaken 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 radiant warm room and given appropriate developmentally supportive care with mother’s milk, kangaroo care, micronutrient supplementation and thermal support.
The baby had consistent weight gain of nearly 15-20 grams/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 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 with COVID-19 of which only 2 newborns tested positive – both tested positive in the second week suggestive of postnatal transmission. All babies survived with nearly 20 per cent requiring NICU admission.