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Indian couple's preemie sets world record for smallest, surviving baby
AFP ^ | Wed, Dec 22, 2004

Posted on 12/22/2004 8:27:27 AM PST by Area Freeper

The world's tiniest surviving baby made her public debut at a US hospital, a wrinkled, but perfectly formed three-month-old who was the size of a cell phone at birth.

Rumaisa Rahman weighed in at just .24 kilos (8.6 ounces) when she was delivered September 19 -- 36 grams (1.3 ounces) lighter than the previous record holder.

Doctors said they waited to announce the record-setting birth of Rumaisa and her slightly larger twin until the newborns were nearly ready to leave the hospital, and until after it was clear they were healthy.

The infant was delivered 15 weeks before her due date by caesarian section at Loyola University Medical Center in suburban Chicago because doctors were concerned about the preemie's development.

Her mother Mahajabeen Shaik had been hospitalized early because she had developed severe pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure, which was affecting her health as well as Rumaisa's activity in the womb.

"We were a little surprised at just how small Rumaisa was, but pleased to see that she was vigorous and seemed to be getting a good start," said William MacMillan, the obstetrician who delivered the infant.

Rumaisa's fraternal twin sister, Hiba, tipped the scales at .56 kilos (1 pound 4 ounces).

Shaik, 23, and her husband, Mohammed Abdul Rahman, 32, both originally from Hyderabad, India, could not hold their daughters until their second month because the babies were hooked to drips and were inside incubators.

"I was very nervous when I saw the babies first because they were too tiny ... there were a lot of questions running in my mind," said Mohammed Rahman Tuesday, adding "I'm thankful to Allah that everything went fine."

The babies were conceived naturally, hospital officials said, and are the first children for the couple, who were married in India in January.

Rumaisa, whose name means "white as milk" in India, now weighs about 1.19 kilos (2 pounds, 10 ounces).

Studies suggest she will develop normally, according to Jonathan Muraskas, professor of pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine at Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine.

Ultrasounds have shown that Rumaisa's head is normal and there is no bleeding in her brain, a common complication that can put a baby at risk for cerebral palsy.

Both girls underwent laser surgery to correct vision problems that are common in premature babies.

Doctors say they are doing well, taking all their feedings by bottle and receiving some minimal oxygen to help with respiratory functions because their lungs have not completely matured.

Hiba may be discharged from the hospital by Christmas, hospital officials say. Rumaisa may go home the first week in January.

The previous record holder for the world's smallest baby was held by Madeline Mann who was born in 1989 -- also at Loyola medical center.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: preemies
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To: Area Freeper

Not a problem... Merry Christmas to you as well... (o:

41 posted on 12/23/2004 11:40:21 AM PST by todd1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

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