Tiny fighters get ready to leave St Anne’s

2008-02-12 00:00

The Netcare St Anne’s maternity unit and Neo-Natal ICU have something to celebrate this week as two of their youngest and smallest patients get ready to go home after overcoming great adversities.

Three-week-old Chiara Walker was born with severe meconium aspiration syndrome, a condition that causes progressive inflammation of the lungs.

She became the first patient to be given nitric oxide in the KZN midlands.

Nitric oxide is a gas used to improve pulmonary function and oxygenation.

Dr Chamila Singh, the paediatrician who managed the procedure, said she was pleased with the results as the condition is hard to treat and has a high mortality rate.

"This type of treatment has the potential to be dangerous and needs to be monitored and administered at proper doses, effectively."

Mom Maria Walker said she was fortunate to have her gynaecologists and the attending paediatrician refer her to Dr Singh.

"It has been fantastic, I’m very happy. I don’t think I would have gotten this kind of result anywhere else. She is doing very well and we are going home today," she said.

Another little fighter, who will soon be discharged, is eight-month-old Kreveshni Govender.

She was born at 28 weeks, 12 weeks premature and weighed a tiny 500 grams.

Her prematurity and extremely low birth weight was due to insufficient placental blood supply.

Mother Veloshine Govender will take her home on Friday with an oxygen machine, weighing three kilograms — six times her birth weight.

"It has been a long journey and a difficult course for everyone … We are excited she has made it this far. She is eating, her head scan is normal and she has no eye problems …," said Singh.

sphumem@witness.co.za

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