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UAE: After more than 200 days in hospital, baby gets new lease of life

Dr Fozi Dakilah said that many procedures were required to keep Abeeha healthy



Photos supplied
Photos supplied

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 4 Mar 2022, 3:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 4 Mar 2022, 5:51 PM

After fighting for about 204 days, a premature baby gets a new lease of life with intermittent oxygen support at home.

Abeeha, a baby girl was born to Pakistani expats Tanzeela Ashraf and Asad Ali on July 4 last year, almost 12 weeks before her due date at Thumbay University Hospital, Ajman.

Dr Fozi Dakilah, consultant neonatology and medical director, Thumbay University Hospital, Ajman said that many procedures were required to keep Abeeha healthy.

“Procedures like mechanical ventilation, central line insertion, nitric oxide therapy and to support circulation in the initial period of life, the child will be under medication. She has the opportunity to grow like a normal child, but will be oxygen dependent until we see an improvement."

Tanzeela was not a registered patient with the hospital and had visited the hospital on a Sharjah-based doctor’s recommendation to get an ultrasound.

When she was at the hospital, Tanzeela felt her water break and went into labour. She delivered the baby naturally a couple of hours later.

“No injections were given to mother of premature baby for lung development. Post-delivery, the baby required respiratory support and was on the ventilator for almost 27 days,” said Dr Fozi.

While she was on the ventilator, Abeeha encountered severe lung complications, which lasted two weeks. Doctors at the hospital, relatives and even her parents lost hope of Abeeha’s survival.

Later, she developed high lung pressure, which still continues and the baby at 5-and-a-half months still needs oxygen support through a nasal cannula. “Abeeha’s weight is fine for her age now. She is out of danger and still on minimal amount of oxygen delivered by nasal catheter,” he added.

Abeeha also had eye complications due to prolonged oxygen support. Hospital ophthalmologists advised a laser surgery, which has been carried out successfully without her losing eyesight. She was also put on a special nutrition (Total Parenteral nutrition) because it was difficult to feed her due to other complications.

Abeeha was given breast milk after her condition improved.

The mother and the child stayed in the hospital’s normal ward for a period of 204 days as Abeeha was oxygen dependent.

Babies that are oxygen dependent often experience bleeding in the brain. Fortunately, that was not the case and scans were conducted to rule out any neurological disorders.

“Her neurological examination appears to be normal for her age. Her milestone in development appears to be near normal for her age,” Dr Fozi said. The baby started giving social smiles to her mother and the ward nurses attending to her.

Asad, Abeeha's father said that she requires oxygen support for 10-15 hours in a 24-hour cycle, at present. He said: “She’s doing pretty-well like any normal child of her age. I will be going for another visit in a couple of days to get her progress examined. The staff and doctors at the hospital provided her with the highest quality of care. We had lost all hope of her survival, but the doctors asked us to be patient and attentive. It’s a miracle!”

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