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Early arrival spells trouble for babies (2)

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

09:56, May 19, 2012

They are prone to develop breathing difficulties, infections and jaundice, she said.

"Nearly 80 percent of the infants who need special treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital are pre-term births," she said.

Bi Yuxin's mother, Xu Jing, still gets upset when she recalls the 40 days her pre-term daughter spent in the NICU, connected to a respirator.

The little girl, who's turning 2 years old in June, was born at 26 weeks and only weighed 900 grams.

"She was so tiny and fragile then and we had little confidence that she could survive," said Xu, who conceived the girl through in vitro fertilization.

Thanks to timely treatment and care, which cost nearly 200,000 yuan ($31,610) the girl is now doing quite well.

"She's very lucky," said Wang Xuemei, a veteran pediatrician at the hospital.

Usually, for pre-term infants weighing less than 1,500 grams, the survival rate is less than 70 percent at the hospital, she said.

In developed countries like the United States, the rate can reach 90 percent.

Only when premature infants turn 2 can doctors "make sure whether they are just as healthy as the others," Wang said.

【1】 【2】


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