At 8:30 a.m. on June 19, 2023, the hurried footsteps of doctors and nurses from the Tra Bong District Medical Center in Quang Ngai Province rushed towards the bed of a special unnamed infant. Born with amniotic fluid aspiration, the premature baby did not cry, breathe, nor show any reflexes, appeared cyanotic, had irregular heartbeats, and was close to death.

Immediately, the doctors transferred the baby to an incubator and promptly began continuous positive-pressure ventilation using an Ambu bag. The medical team worked meticulously, alternating between drying and warming the baby, squeezing the Ambu bag, and getting its mucus suctioned using a portable phlegm suction unit. All attention was focused on the monitor screen, waiting for signs of life. After 5 minutes of intense resuscitation, the premature baby gradually came back to life, with weak but present breathing. The first cry of the baby made the whole team burst with joy, and the doctors continued to utilize a ventilator to keep the baby alive. The VinaCapital Foundation’s (VCF) Survive to Thrive program supported all essential neonatal equipment used in the baby’s treatment through funds provided by VITA Clinic.

Just before, the mother of the baby – Mrs. Ho Thi Thue was admitted to the Tra Bong District Medical Center in critical condition at 34 weeks of pregnancy, requiring immediate transfer for timely emergency care. However, as there were numerous foreseeable risks of overcoming a moving distance of nearly 40km, in such urgency, the doctors concurred that she should give birth immediately at the Medical Center. After a 6-hour race against time, the doctors were overjoyed to revive a constant breathing pattern for the baby. The baby was able to breastfeed, was alert, had a healthy complexion, and was transferred to the Quang Ngai Hospital for Children and Women for further health checks and thorough screening.

The baby’s family comes from an ethnic minority background, has a low level of education, and disadvantaged living conditions that impeded prenatal check-ups, iron supplementation, and immunization. Ms. Thue’s late arrival at the Health Center was indeed a high-pressure medical emergency. “At that moment, I was extremely scared as the baby in my arms seemed to be on the verge of losing its life. Recalling the techniques of the manual resuscitator and the skills learned in the VCF’s pediatric emergency training in Son Tay in October 2022, I made every effort to save the child. Now, I am overjoyed!”, Specialist Level 1 Doctor. Dinh Thi Nghia, Department of Surgery & Obstetrics, Tra Bong District Medical Center, recalls the intense moments of striving to fight for the baby’s life.

The premature baby in this story is one of the many cases who received such a miracle to stay alive, thanks to all the pediatric emergency training sessions provided to local doctors and the provision of essential medical equipment sponsored by Survive to Thrive. Observing the resuscitation of these young souls is the largest motivation for the Survive to Thrive program team to carry on with the journey of healthcare capacity building, especially for neonatal care, in remote, disadvantageous areas where access to quality healthcare for people is still limited.

Let’s keep up with and accompany VCF on our journey to assist premature newborns and newborns with congenital defects in getting another living opportunity! All contributions and efforts from compassionate donors, regardless of their size, have played a crucial role in reviving the breath of these vulnerable little patients in rural and remote areas of Vietnam HERE.

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