Baby Ho Thi Tinh was born on July 24, 2020, in Ninh Thuan province. Four days later, she was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Children’s Hospital 2, HCMC as Tinh was diagnosed with newborn respiratory distress syndromes (RDS). The baby had difficulty breathing, often wheezing as well as showing cyanosis and weak reflexes. The doctors treated Tinh with surfactant administration, then utilized the non-invasive continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, donated by VinaCapital Foundation in March 2020, to provide breathing support. The CPAP helped prevent upper airway collapse and stimulated the baby’s respiratory center. After nearly 3-4 weeks of CPAP breathing with a continuous gentle pressure that helped the baby’s lungs to inflate, the baby breathed easier.

CPAP is an essential life-saving respiratory aid for 90.7% of cases of preterm infants with respiratory failure. If not treated quickly with a CPAP machine, newborns like Tinh are likely to have a collapsed lung from oxygen deprivation, causing bradycardia episodes and damage to the baby’s brain. Prior to VCF’s machine donation, Children’s Hospital 2’s Respiratory Department had not even owned one CPAP, and 2 machines that the NICU had did not have enough capacity to serve their large number of patients. Moreover, VCF donated the CPAP to Children’s Hospital 2 right before the first COVID wave, which timely assisted the doctors and nurses in protecting the safety of newborn babies, who were already so vulnerable to respiratory viruses like COVID-19.

More importantly, babies with RDS are at high risk of becoming worse on their long way to the hospital, especially if enduring severe weather conditions that affect their fragile health. Baby Tinh and her parents had to travel on a motorbike for a distance of roughly 350km from Ninh Thuan to HCMC, under the scorching summer heat of Central Vietnam. This trip alone could lead to water deprivation and difficulty breathing. The family was also put at greater risk of being exposed to COVID-19 along the way. Luckily, after more than one month of treatment with the CPAP machine at the hospital, baby Tinh’s condition gradually became stable, and was discharged from the hospital with no more respiratory difficulties. The baby could finally breathe normally and continues today to live a normal healthy life.

The recovery stories of babies like Tinh proved VinaCapital Foundation’s commitment and effort to ensure the safety of our children and their families by donating crucial pieces of equipment that help save the lives of pediatric patients, especially newborns despite the pandemic.

 

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