Doctors have worked around the clock to rescue this baby girl who struggled to breathe after inhaling her own faeces-stained amniotic fluid into her lungs.
The girl born in the city of Binzhou in China’s north-western province of Shaanxi on the morning of 23rd November was found to have meconium aspiration syndrome.
MAS is a condition where term infants inhale amniotic fluid stained with meconium, which is the baby’s dark, viscous and tar-like sticky stool formed while it is still inside the uterus.
At Xi’an Children’s Hospital in the provincial capital, medics who treated the girl said she had a 50 percent chance of survival.
The child’s grandfather, Mr Ma, noticed that she was not breathing properly just two hours after birth.
He recalled: “Her breathing was very weak. Doctors said she was critical and began treating her, but her condition only worsened.
“In the end they said she needed to be taken to Xi’an Children’s Hospital.”
The paediatric facility sent an ambulance crew to collect the girl from Binzhou People’s Hospital, and paramedics are said to have sucked 150 millilitres of faeces-stained liquid from her lungs during the journey back.
Doctor Wang Yi, head of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, said medical staff spent a further six hours aspirating the remaining fluid from her lungs.
The doctor, who did not sleep for 49 hours said: “Her lung function was very weak and she had been lacking oxygen for a long time, so we put her on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine.
“ECMO is an artificial method of circulating blood through the bloodstream. It is the best method available.”
Doctor Wang said the girl’s heart, lungs and brain functions showed signs of improvement on the second day.
She was fully conscious on day four and breathing on her own by the fifth day.
She stayed in PICU for more than two weeks before she was healthy enough to be discharged on 10th December.
Mr Ma, who said his granddaughter is his son’s first child, expressed his gratitude to the hospital staff by gifting them a large red banner.
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