07 August 2021 | News
Currently, at 14-month, the baby girl was born prematurely at 212 grams and is possibly the world’s lightest baby born and discharged well on record
Photo Credit: NUH neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
Singapore's National University Hospital (NUH) has set a world record by successfully discharging a 14-month-old premature infant born at 212 grams on 9 June 2020. NUH explained the survival journey of the baby and extraordinary medical expertise at NUH neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on 7 August to inspire the world through exclusive media briefing. The small and fragile baby had a limited chance of survival with multiple health complications at birth.
Born to a Malaysian couple residing in Singapore, the mother of the child suffered preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and underwent emergency caesarean section at 24 weeks and 6 days of gestation instead of the average 40 weeks. Treated under intense observation at NICU for 13 months. The child was well monitored under meticulous advanced treatment regimens for survival round the clock at NICU Department of Neonatology of Khoo Teck Puat – National University Children’s Medical Institute (KTP-NUCMI). NUH also facilitates caregivers and families of young patients a temporary place of respite closer to their children at no cost.
The baby girl named Kwek Yu Xuan has grown to about 6.3kg now and was discharged well on 9 July 2021 with progressive health. She currently has chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension – two conditions commonly associated with extreme prematurity. She is expected to get better with time. The mother of the child expressed her thanks to the crowdfunding platform and donors.
Based on the Tiniest Babies Registry managed by The University of Iowa (https://webapps1.healthcare.uiowa.edu/TiniestBabies/index.aspx), Yu Xuan is possibly the world’s lightest baby born and discharged well to home. The previous smallest survivor in the world was born 245 grams in the United States as reported by BBC in May 2019 ('World's smallest' surviving premature baby released from US hospital https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48458780).
Parents of the child also received assistance from the NUH Home Equipment Loan Programme, which assists families who are unable to afford medical equipment critical for children’s home care treatments. The medical equipment, with formal training provided on its use, is loaned to beneficiaries for free, for the duration of the child’s need. Under this scheme, these parents received an oxygen concentrator, home ventilator and oxygen saturation monitor, and other ancillary equipment to help support Yu Xuan for as long as she needs.