Can this be true

  1. Someone has claimed that they know of a 20 weeker (not a typo), that was in NICU when their own child was there. They claimed the baby was 1 pound (which is double the weight of a 20 week gestation baby) and that it spent 4-5 months in NICU before going home!

    I would like to believe it but know that if it was true - it would have been splashed all over the newpapers and news. Have you ever heard of a 20 weeker surviving?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I seriously doubt it!!! There are times when we are off on dates by a few weeks, so it could have been a 23-24 weeker, but at a pound..... no, not 20 weeks. This is the problem with second hand stories. Everyone seems to know someone who knows a miracle baby and so they think that'll be what happens with their's. Then they are shocked when they wind up with a blind, deaf baby with CP and a trache.
  4. by   suzanne4
    20 weeker at one pound? that is what is truly impossible......................
    definitely must have been twenty------something weeks................

    a 26-27 weeker weighs that..................................at least the ones that I took care of
  5. by   mermom
    Having been around the preemie block, so-to-speak, it irks me to no end when someone makes outrageous claims like that. Someone just said, "I know a 19-weeker who survived and is a healthy 6-yr-old now." Another claimed to have had a 21-weeker who spent "a little over a month" in NICU. *Lord help me.* The problem is they are saying these things on expecting mothers message boards, where others are taking this mis-info in and it gives them a false sense of security about extreme prematurity, and profoundly belittles the cruel reality of it.
    I guess the "baby in a shoebox" stories have been and will be around forever. It's just hard to know the truth and see it so horribly corrupted, and not be able to do a thing about it.

    Wen
    preemie mom and NICU-nurse fan :kiss
  6. by   NicuGal
    We had a mom that swore her baby was 20 weeks...she was 5 months pregnant when she delivered...hence she thought she was 20 weeks..she didnt' know you add 4 weeks to it! We just couldn't convince her!
  7. by   NICU_Nurse
    Well, I found this, which is interesting:

    Guinness Book of World Records
    World's Most Premature Baby

    "James Elgin Gill was born to Brenda and James Gill on May 20, 1987, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was 128 days premature, and weighed just 624 g (1 lb 6oz). James' parents were told he had no chance of survival. Much of his body was still developing, including his skin, hands, ears, and feet. James' eyes were still fused shut."

    Then I found this:
    http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/ne...ArticleID=8700

    To quote:
    "Doctors at a hospital here have delivered what is claimed to be one of the world's smallest babies - at 524 grammes just half the weight of a bag of sugar. In a tricky operation, surgeons removed the mother's womb containing the baby in order to save the life of the Iraqi woman who was suffering from cancer of the stomach.

    The infant had spent just 21 weeks and three days in in his mother's womb. Doctors fed him his mother's milk through a tube from the moment he was removed. The operation took place at Abu Dhabi's Al Mafraq Hospital.

    Professor Mohammed Reda Sadaqetian, consultant and head of the paediatric department for premature children, said, "This is considered the smallest baby in the world, taking into account the number of weeks spent in his mother's womb.

    "When he was was born, he was 524 grammes. Before this, the smallest child who survived was 329 grammes, but he was born after 28 weeks. "From the day of his birth he started drinking his mother's milk through a tube. Then from the second day, he started taking nutrition through the arteries and now his growth is continuing naturally without any complications. His eyes remained closed until recently but we managed to open them."

    The baby's weight has reached 620 grammes. The infant had suffering from bleeding in the brain, which has stopped. Because of the bleeding, the baby may be only 50 per cent normal. "We will monitor his condition for six months until we identify if this percentage will decrease or increase."

    Sadaqetian said that the child was prematurely delivered to save the life of the mother. "The mother was suffering from stomach cancer and we had to save her by taking out part of her intestine, and it was necessary to remove the mother's womb with the child in it. The mother's condition is very stable now."

    He said it was remarkable that the baby had survived despite being in his mother's womb for only 21 weeks and three days. It was very rare for such a premature baby to survive. The 2001 Guinness Book of Records lists the world's most premature baby as James Gill of Ontario, Canada, who was 624 grammes when born 128 days premature in 1987."

    So there you go. I can't vouch for the second source- I'd never heard of it.

    As someone mentioned, if this woman knew of such a baby, it surely would have been a record or at least had some news coverage.
  8. by   NICU_Nurse
    I'd also like to add that, from your post, I'm taking it that this woman was the mother of a baby on the unit, not a nurse? In other words, this is a woman who got secondhand information (from the supposed 20 weekers mother), possibly information that she further misinterpreted/took for fact? I'd take what she's saying with a grain of salt.

    I've actually been present when two moms were together (young, fairly uneducated moms, just FYI) and the first mom said, "Oh, my baby was 22 6/7 weeks when she was born!" and the second one, FALSELY, hastily claimed, "Oh, well, MY baby was 21 and a half weeks and she only weighed five ounces!" The moral of the story: This lady had no idea what she was talking about. Her baby was born at 25 weeks and certainly did NOT weigh five ounces.

    What bothers me is that, at least in this area (urban, poorly educated moms with little/no access to healthcre), I have actually heard women saying that their friends told them that, with all of the new advances in technology, it's okay if the baby is born early- that we'll just nurse it to health and they'll get to take it home earlier, without having to "endure" the full natural length of a pregnancy. And if you think that's bad, you don't even WANT TO HEAR about the women (and I mean MULTIPLE women, this happens ALL the time!) who attempt to INDUCE THEIR OWN LABOR by various at-home methods based on this false, dangerous information.

    Tell these women to come here if they want to know the realities of premature birth. I'm sure all of us would be thrilled for the chance to educate them and potentially save them and/or their babies in some way.
  9. by   jacobsmum
    Yes the informations was not from a nurse. But from one of the other mums on the unit
  10. by   mermom
    Guinness Book of World Records
    World's Most Premature Baby

    "James Elgin Gill was born to Brenda and James Gill on May 20, 1987, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was 128 days premature, and weighed just 624 g (1 lb 6oz). James' parents were told he had no chance of survival. Much of his body was still developing, including his skin, hands, ears, and feet. James' eyes were still fused shut."

    Then I found this:
    http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/ne...ArticleID=8700

    To quote:
    "Doctors at a hospital here have delivered what is claimed to be one of the world's smallest babies - at 524 grammes just half the weight of a bag of sugar. In a tricky operation, surgeons removed the mother's womb containing the baby in order to save the life of the Iraqi woman who was suffering from cancer of the stomach.

    The infant had spent just 21 weeks and three days in in his mother's womb.
    I guess weight can vary widely, but this seems big for a 21-weeker, but who am I to say.

    And I don't know how Guinness gets it's records, but I know of one preemie who is widely known throughout the preemie community as (one of) the earliest babies ever at 22.4 weeks by ovulation. Her name is Kellie Christine and you can read about it on her website:

    http://fourcrooks.home.att.net/

    It's an interesting topic. I'm sure X years ago, they would never have believed that someday 23-weekers could survive. It makes you wonder what's possible in the future. (And by possible, I don't mean that it SHOULD be done...just speculating).

    Wen
    preemie mom and NICU-nurse fan :kiss
  11. by   athomas91
    i once assisted (in the ER - which was a hospital w/o L&D) in the delivery of a 18-20 wker...she did live for 16 hrs but later died at hopkins ....but it was the most amazing thing i ever saw. her skin was nearly transparent..and she was the size of my hand (i am a 5'6" woman who at that time weighed approx 110lbs...) it was something i will never forget.

    the reason i say 18-20 is because the mom kept vascillating on when exactly the last period was...
  12. by   mermom
    Oops, I thought 128 days early was 22.5 weeks. It's 21.5.

    Wen
  13. by   fergus51
    That's the thing. A lot of dates, even by u/s, are off. I just hate these stories because I know how much heartache they create when parents believe them. Even 24 weekers have horrible outcome rates, but we routinely have parents at 23 or even 22 who think their child will be a miracle baby. Then I get to torture it for its short life and the parents are shocked when it does die and threaten to sue because it must be our fault ("cause THAT woman had a 20 weeker that survived!").....
  14. by   mermom
    Quote from athomas91
    i once assisted (in the ER - which was a hospital w/o L&D) in the delivery of a 18-20 wker...she did live for 16 hrs but later died at hopkins ....but it was the most amazing thing i ever saw. her skin was nearly transparent..and she was the size of my hand (i am a 5'6" woman who at that time weighed approx 110lbs...) it was something i will never forget.

    the reason i say 18-20 is because the mom kept vascillating on when exactly the last period was...
    Amazing~ she lived that long breathing on her own??

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