Smallest baby in Japan leaves Keio University Hospital in good health

A baby girl of extremely low birthweight, born in Keio University Hospital on 25 October, 2006, was discharged from the hospital on 3 April in good health. Born weighing only 265 grams, she is the smallest baby ever survived in Japan, and the second smallest throughout the world.

About the baby girl born on 25 October , 2006
In the last 15 years, neonatal care in Japan, United States and Europe has advanced dramatically. In recent years, it is said that 80% of the extremely low birthweight infants weighing under 1000 grams survive in Japan, however, survival of infants weighing under 500 grams is still extremely difficult. At the Keio University Hospital, the most careful attention on cardiorespiratory management and nutritional management was given to the baby girl who was born at a gestational age of 25 weeks weighing only 265 grams, and now that she can drink milk on her own, she left the hospital 24 weeks after birth weighing 3020 grams.

(*1) About extremely low birthweight infants
An extremely low birthweight infant is defined as a birth weight less than 1,000 grams. Small babies born in the earlier stage of pregnancy (premature pregnancy, born at a gestational age of less than 37 weeks) have higher risks for complications, because various functions of the body are immature. Within a few days after birth, symptoms of neonatal asphyxia, respiratory distress syndrome, patent ductus arteriosis, hypoglycemia or electrolyte abnormality may appear, and within a few days to few weeks after birth, infants are susceptible to chronic lung disease, apnea of prematurity, anemia and jaundice. With compromised immune systems, the risk is high for other serious infections. The smallest baby in the world to be discharged from hospital is a baby girl born in Illinois, U.S.A. in 2004, born weighing 260 grams at a gestational age of 25 weeks.

About Department of Pediatrics, Keio University Hospital
The Department of Pediatrics of Keio University Hospital is an appointed training facility of the Japan Society of Perinatal and Neonatal Medicine since FY2004 (the first qualification of neonatalogists is planned in FY2007). The Division of Neonatology of Keio University Hospital, mid-sized in Tokyo with 6 units of NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and 12 units of GCU (Growing Care Unit), has experience in successfully discharging the second smallest baby girl in June 1999 (weighing 289 grams, the smallest in Japan at the time, born at a gestational age of 23 weeks), who will start second grade this April. This past experience and management of nosocomial infection in NICU helped in the recent survival of the smallest baby in Japan.

Inquiries: Ms. Kawagoe or Ms. Kurata, Office of Communications and Public Relations, Keio University
Tel: +81-3-5427-1541 Fax:+81-3-5441-7640
Email: [email protected]

Published: 24 May 2007


Contact details:

2-15-45 Mita Minato-ku Tokyo 108-8345 Japan

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