World’s smallest surviving baby boy EVER weighing just 0.59lbs is finally home after SEVEN MONTHS in hospital
- Unnamed baby boy arrived at just 24 weeks via emergency C-section in August
- Doctors noticed he was not growing and worried his life may be in danger
- Treated in intensive care for months; discharged at a healthy 7.14lbs (3,238g)
The world’s smallest surviving baby boy ever born in Japan has been allowed home after a lengthy hospital stay.
The newborn – who has not been named – arrived last August weighing just 0.59lbs (268g).
He was born via emergency C-section at Keio University Hospital in Tokyo after doctors noticed he was not growing during a 24 week scan and worried his life may be in danger.
The baby, who could fit into his doctors’ hands, was treated at a neonatal intensive care unit, which helped get his weight up to 7.14lbs (3.2kg).
He left hospital last Wednesday – two months after his due date.
The world’s smallest surviving baby boy (pictured) ever was born via an emergency C-section in Keio University Hospital in Tokyo in August weighing just 0.59lbs (268g)
After spending seven months in hospital, the youngster’s weight got up to 7.14lbs (3.2kg). He is pictured just before he was finally sent home last Wednesday – two months after his due date
The boy was kept in hospital while doctors managed his breathing and weight gain, with him eventually being able to breastfeed, Kyodo News reported.
The paediatricians who treated the newborn hope his success story will give hope to families whose children are born too small or too soon.
‘I want people to know that babies can return home vigorous even if they are born small,’ Dr Takeshi Arimitsu said.
The past record holder for smallest surviving baby boy went to a newborn in Germany, who arrived at 24 weeks in 2009 weighing 0.6lbs (274g), according to the University of Iowa’s Tiniest Babies register.
The smallest girl – also from Germany – was born at 25 weeks in 2015 weighing 0.56lbs (252g).
According to the register, only 23 babies have been born prematurely weighing less than 0.66lbs (300g) and survived, of which just four were boys.
The register collects information from medical journals, media reports and cases that have been self-reported by a family member alongside verification from a healthcare professional.
Around 90 per cent of babies born in Japan that weigh less than 2.2lbs (1,000g) survive, however, very few under 0.66lbs make it.
WHAT IS A PREMATURE BIRTH, AND WHAT ARE THE RISKS TO BABIES?
Around 10 per cent of all pregnancies worldwide result in premature labour – defined as a delivery before 37 weeks.
When this happens, not all of the baby’s organs, including the heart and lungs, will have developed. They can also be underweight and smaller.
Tommy’s, a charity in the UK, says this can mean preemies ‘are not ready for life outside the womb’.
Premature birth is the largest cause of neonatal mortality in the US and the UK, according to figures.
Babies born early account for around 1,500 deaths each year in the UK. In the US, premature birth and its complications account for 17 per cent of infant deaths.
Babies born prematurely are often whisked away to neonatal intensive care units, where they are looked after around-the-clock.
What are the chances of survival?
- Less than 22 weeks is close to zero chance of survival
- 22 weeks is around 10%
- 24 weeks is around 60%
- 27 weeks is around 89%
- 31 weeks is around 95%
- 34 weeks is equivalent to a baby born at full term