In August 2018 a tiny baby boy was born in Tokyo weighing only 268 g. After five months of follow up care, the Keio University hospital has stated that the healthy baby is now finally allowed home. He is believed to be the smallest baby boy born that has managed to survive.
Never has such a little boy left the maternity ward in such a healthy condition. At least according to the information we have available. The infant stopped growing inside the mother’s stomach and was brought into the world in a cesarean operation after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The little tot only weighed 268 g. Much smaller than other children his age, the child could not breath or eat on it’s own. After several months of treatment, the little boy was finally released from hospital and allowed to go home with his parents. The little boy weighed 3.2 kg when he left hospital on the 20 February.
A little miracle
“I am happy that he has gained weight as quite frankly I wasn’t sure he was going to survive“, stated his mother in a message broadcast on the media. Although this little boy was assisted after his birth, he is the smallest male baby born in history that has survived. “There are only four babies of this size that have survived which we are aware of in the history of humanity,” declared Doctor Edward Bell, a neonatal pediatric professor at the Carver College of Medicine from the University of Iowa (United States). “It is extremely rare. As far as I know for boys it is unique.”
The young boy is in fourth place of the tiniest babies in the Tiniest Babies Registry, a database that documents the smallest babies in the world born since 1936 that have survived. Ranked above this little boy is a baby born in Tokyo, one from Illinois and one from Germany. These three baby girls weighed 265 g, 260 g and 252 g respectively. The survival rate of girls is higher than boys, at about 75%. This is primarily due to the fact that boys develop more slowly from the uterus until adolescence.
Whether it is a boy or a girl, these babies delayed growth is caused by the same problem. Their mother’s placenta cannot release oxygen and nutrients correctly that they need in order to grow. Once they have been brought into the world these children need to receive particular medical attention during the first years of their life.