When Pixie was born, she weighed only 1.1 pounds. She was so tiny and so frail, doctors had to use an unconventional item to keep her warm — a sandwich bag.
Sharon Grant delivered Pixie by emergency Caesarean section at the Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, England. She was only 28-weeks into her pregnancy — Pixie was three months premature. The baby had stopped growing in the womb because of complications with the umbilical cord and placenta.
After Sharon gave birth to little Pixie, doctors were certain that she wouldn’t live longer than an hour. They rushed her to intensive care to do anything they could to keep her alive; the little baby was no bigger than her mom’s hand.
The hospital didn’t have equipment small enough to keep the preemie baby warm; so instead — they placed her in a sandwich baggie from Tesco and rushed her to NICU.
“It was so random that they had her in the Tesco bag — it must have just been what the operating theatre had at the time,” Grant told The Telegraph.
Although this might sound strange and even dangerous, this tactic has actually been used before. According to the New York Times, babies’ thin skin allows water to evaporate through it quickly, so putting them in plastic bags or plastic wrap before wrapping them in blankets can keep them warmer than a blanket alone.
The Neonatology Consultant at the hospital says that Pixie’s treatment wasn’t actually all that unusual; they often have to use this practice for babies under 3.3 pounds.
“It is now a standard treatment, where the wet newborn infant’s body and limbs are placed into the bag, under a heater, which creates a greenhouse effect, and this is the most effective way of maintaining their temperature in the golden hour after birth and until they are placed into a warm, humid incubator for ongoing care,” he said in a statement from the hospital.
Grant was hopeful and anxious that the plastic bag would help save her daughter’s life — she was right. Although, it certainly wasn’t an easy process. In fact, it was very emotional for the new mom; she was unable to touch or hold Pixie for 18 agonizing days. Touching and handling the baby could have caused a loss of their weight.
“We have been in and out of hospital a lot since she got home, and she can’t be around other children or ill people because if she gets a cold she will end up on oxygen again,” Grant said. “But at the moment she is doing really well. She looks really nice and healthy.”
Pixie is now 5-months old — growing bigger and healthier every day. To think a normal, everyday product could save a life is a true miracle and Pixie is proof.
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