In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Breath Baby!

Tonight, as I was finishing my rounds in the 'Big Nursery', where our 1-2 year olds live, one of the NICU nannies called me to 'come see something'.

I followed her into the NICU and what I saw was our preemie baby, Peter. He was not breathing and he was navy blue! Our nannies, to their credit, were trying to stimulate him. They are not used to handling incubator babies. They are afraid that these fragile infants might break in their hands.

Peter was born 10 weeks early, 4 days ago. Like many babies who are arrive 2 and a half months before their 'due dates', this little one finds gets tired easily. His immature brain is not always able to regulate his breathing, especially when he drifts off to sleep. Breathing should be an automatic reflex but in Peter's case, that reflex has not fully developed. Tonight, as he dozed, he 'forgot' to breath.

Thankfully, after less a minute of resuscitation, Peter began showing signs of life and was taking some breaths on his own. We are very lucky to have Injectable Caffeine and we gave Peter a dose of this medication. It stimulates premature babies brains to 'remind' them to breath.

Caffeine is a simple drug, that is not easily available in Haiti. It may save Peter's life.

Please pray that his tiny body will remain strong enough to get Peter through the next few weeks. During that time, his organ systems will mature and his hold on life will no longer be so tentative.

Peter recovered quikly from his episode tonight. Within minites, he opened his eyes and moved around. He is doing well. His poor Mummy though, is very anxious - still trembling. We have done our best to reassure her, but I think it will take a while for her frazzled nerves to settle.

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