Udaipur: Premature twin girls survive against all odds

The story of these girls who were born weighing just 600 and 620 grams is a miraculous one. The micro-premature babies were born at just 24 weeks of pregnancy (five and half months) and, fought for four months to survive in the neonatal ICU of Jivanta Children’s Hospital, Udaipur

The twins born to Chinta Devi and Chandeshwar Ram from Motihari, Bihar and were conceived through In vitro fertilisation (IVF) technique at Neelkanth Fertility Centre in Udaipur.

“She had uncontrolled blood pressure, gestational diabetes and started bleeding at 24 weeks of her pregnancy. As the survival of babies was getting compromised, she was taken up for emergency caesarean section,” said Dr Simi Sood.

The twin baby girls were born on October 25, 2017. The twins were barely larger than a human hand. They required artificial breathing support to regularise their breathing and then quickly transferred to Jivanta neonatal ICU.

The newborns were managed and looked after at Jivanta Neonatal ICU under care of Neonatologists Dr Sunil Janged and Dr Nikhilesh Nain and by the nursing staff.

In the beginning, the babies were struggling to breathe, so they were put on a ventilator and given surfactant to expand their tiny immature lungs. Also, the babies had an infection in their blood, the heart functioning was poor.

Their gut was immature and they could not be fed, the babies were put on TPN which means giving all essential nutrients such as protein, carbohydrate by blood. To get venous access umbilical lines were put. Such infants lose water very quickly through their fragile skin and their weight further drops down.

Regular screening of heart and brain were performed to rule out any bleeding in brain.  Due to brain immaturity the babies used to forget to breathe, this is termed as apnoea of prematurity. The babies required ventilator support for 80 days along with multiple blood transfusions.

In all, they were in the NICU for 115 days, on discharge their weight was 2 kg and 1.94 kg. By far, their progress in NICU is satisfactory, the brain is structurally normal and eyes are developing normally.

Dr Sunil Janged, Chief Neonatologist at Jivanta Children Hospital, said, “It was long and tough journey for me and my team. At the best of centres, only 30% of such babies born this early survive. Most doctors do not even attempt to save such babies, as the possibility of survival is low. It is due to the assistance of the latest technology and high end expertise of our NICU team, which helped this become a success”


The father of the twins, Chandeshwar Ram, proudly said, “All this would not have been possible without the support of doctors and Jivanta management team. It was not possible for us to bear hospital expenses as we come from a humble background. The hospital waived 50% of the treatment’s cost to send a ‘pro-girl tolerance’ message to the society.”

Dr Pradeep Suryawanshi, a senior Neonatologist from Pune added, “The existing record for smallest twins to survive in India is from Kerala, with twin girls weighing 452 grams and 500 grams.”

He added, “Babies born this small have extremely poor function of all body organs and need support for survival. This is where skilled and dedicated of the neonatologist and nursing staff is required, as the margin of error is close to zero. Problems related to any single system can singularly kill the baby and only 5-10% of them survive without brain damage.”