Feature: Papua New Guinea mother honors Chinese medical team with Chinese name for her newborn

(Xinhua) 13:13, June 02, 2023

SYDNEY/CHONGQING, June 1 (Xinhua) -- "As a mother, I was overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty, but your calm and professionalism gave me hope and comfort," Josephine Inapi, a Papua New Guinea (PNG) mother of a newborn, said in a hand-written letter to a doctor of the Chinese medical team stationed in the country.

Inapi, a 38-week pregnant then, delivered the baby boy via C-section due to fetal distress on April 21 at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

After birth, the baby suffered from severe asphyxia, meconium aspiration syndrome, and other conditions. Despite treatment with antibiotics and pulmonary artery pressure-lowering medications in the first three days, his oxygen saturation continued to drop, which posed a grave risk of multi-organ damage and cardiac and respiratory arrest.

Liu Zhenqiu, a newborn specialist and member of the Chinese medical team in PNG, noticed the rapid deterioration and decided to initiate mechanical ventilation to save his life.

Led by Liu, a specialized group was quickly assembled with Chinese and PNG experts. They implemented a series of treatment measures, including intubation, oxygenation, positive pressure ventilation, and sedation.

The ventilator used was assembled not long ago by Liu. The breathing tube and humidifier for newborns were received from the Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, from where Liu was dispatched.

With the respiratory support from the ventilator, the baby's skin color quickly changed from cyanosis to pink, and his oxygen saturation rose from 60 percent to 90 percent. Other vital signs also returned to normal ranges.

After a week of invasive ventilation, the baby was eventually weaned off the ventilator and started breathing on his own.

He was discharged from the hospital on May 16, 25 days after his birth.

"I want to thank the entire Chinese medical team for coming to Papua New Guinea and providing such crucial assistance. Your kindness and selflessness have not gone unnoticed," Inapi wrote in the letter.

She also asked for a Chinese name for her newborn baby as a commemoration of the Chinese doctors.

Liu named the boy "Taile." The pronunciation is close to "Taylor" in English and the name bears the meaning of "safety" and "happiness" in Chinese.

As Taile and her mother left the hospital, a small party was held by the staff from the Chinese medical team and the hospital.

"It is truly an honor to witness the miraculous transformation that has taken place, from the initial state of severe respiratory failure to the healthy, happy little patient before us today. I am moved by the resilience and fighting spirit displayed by the baby, and the teamwork and expertise of our medical staff," the Chinese doctor said.

Liu, an expert in treating various neonatal emergencies, was a member of the 11th and 12th batches of Chinese medical teams aiding PNG. He came to Port Moresby in March 2021 and chose to extend his stay for one more year in an effort to effectively reduce the neonatal mortality rate in the local hospital.

Liu said he believes that neonatal ventilator-assisted ventilation is one of the key technologies for the treatment of newborns. If carried out effectively, it will significantly reduce neonatal mortality.

The successful treatment also encouraged local staff at the hospital's Special Care Nursery, as they learned new skills and knowledge during the process so as to save more critically ill newborns in the future.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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