April 25, 2011

German Infant Ties World Preemie Survivial Record

A German baby has tied the world record for the youngest surviving premature infant, after being born after only 21 weeks and five days, the hospital in which the child was born said Saturday.

The infant, named Frieda, was born on November 7, 2010 and measured 11 inches long and weighed only 1 pound.

"In the specialist literature, other premature babies have been lighter than her at birth, some even less than 300 grams [11 ounces], but there is no mention of a premature baby even younger than Frieda," The clinic in western Fulda said in an announcement.

Frieda was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday measuring 20 inches long and weighing 7.7 pounds, the clinic told AFP.

Frieda had a twin brother -- Kilian -- who died a few days after birth.

A doctor on duty at the clinic told AFP that "there is no foreseeable risk of after-effects for the moment" and that the little girl "should develop normally like any other child."

The director of the clinic, Professor Reinald Repp, told the Bild newspaper earlier that "Frieda was kept in a completely sterile environment, with her breathing assisted and fed through her navel."

Babies born before eight months of pregnancy are considered premature. Generally, babies born before 22 weeks have no chance of survival because their lungs, heart and brain are not sufficiently developed. Babies born before 32 weeks are considered at high risk of suffering developmental problems.

Frieda tied the record of a baby born in Ottawa in 1987 born at exactly the same stage of its mother's pregnancy, according to a statement.