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Doctors Save Premature Baby Using Sandwich Bag 246

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-baby-fresh dept.
Born 14 weeks early, Lexi Lacey owes her life to some MacGyver inspired doctors and a sandwich bag. Lexi was so small at birth that even the tiniest insulating jacket was too big, but she fit into a plastic sandwich bag nicely. ''The doctors told us they had never known a baby born as prematurely as Lexi survive. She was so tiny the only thing they had to keep her body temperature warm was a sandwich bag from the hospital canteen — it's incredible to think that saved her life," says her mom.
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Doctors Save Premature Baby Using Sandwich Bag

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  • I wonder what the survival rate will be now she is stabilized?
    • Re:Fetus in a bag (Score:5, Insightful)

      by angiasaa (758006) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:04AM (#33723500) Homepage

      One or none?

      • Clever. I mean what is the probability of survival.
        • Re:Fetus in a bag (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:14AM (#33723648) Homepage
          Uh... none. What's yours?
        • by Xacid (560407)
          I'll try to branch off the direction this overly cynical, overly semantic person is going and say simply "it depends". I was born two months early @ 4lbs 10oz and I'm 24 now. The first paragraph of the article does state "and her parents were told she had a ten per cent chance of survival." I'd be interested in seeing how this ends up. I hope the kid makes it and lives a happy, healthy life. I'd be a little pissed if I didn't get to exist. :)
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Xacid (560407)

            Meant to add:

            "Lexi is now 11-week-olds old and weighs 5lbs 6oz. "

            All things considered - as long as there are no other immediate complications this kid might make it out just fine.

          • She's home now with her parents, so the doctors must think she has a pretty good chance. They don't usually let premies out of the NICU till they feel comfortable that they are no more or less likely than a normal baby to die. Baring the things that occasionally kill babies ( friend of mine's daughter got meningitis at three days old. She was perfectly healthy at birth, but almost didn't make it through her first week of life.) seems as though she'll be fine.

    • by sconeu (64226)

      When my daughter was in NICU (back in 1993, she was 7 weeks preemie), there was a 3 month preemie there. He survived and is fine.

      Hell, my *MOTHER* was 2.5 months preemie, and that was in 1938.

      • by be951 (772934)
        These doctors need to get out more if they are unfamiliar with more premature babies surviving. Lots of 22-25 week gestation babies (that's 15-18 weeks premature) survive, with the record being 21 weeks 5 days gestation. In terms of size, the baby in the article is fairly small at 14 ounces. But the record in that category is 8.6 ounces, with a few other cases under 10, including the previous record holder.
    • by Americano (920576)

      TFA states:

      Lexi is now 11-week-olds old and weighs 5lbs 6oz.

      and,

      Lexi was finally allowed home on September 3.

      I'd say her prognosis is pretty good, considering she's now about the size, weight, and developmental stage as a newborn. The last 11 weeks were the rather critical point, I'd imagine.

  • Mom always told me not to play with plastic bags...
  • I too used a plastic sandwich bag this week for a medical miracle; I was hiking and developed a blister on my heel, but through the use of a plastic sandwich bag as cushioning and slippery material so that my heel wouldn't rub, I was able to continue with less pain, and without worsening the blister.

    I know, impressive.

    Maybe this means that plastic baggies will soon be needing FDA approval, or maybe a prescription.

    • Someone give this guy a medal!
    • by JustOK (667959) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:15AM (#33723668) Journal

      did you take the baby out of the bag first? Or did the baby make it slippery.

      • by StikyPad (445176)

        You can take the baby out of the bag, but you can never take the... bag... can never... won't get fooled again!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      Always carry a little tiny roll of duck tape. Besides its numerous other qualities and applications a strip over your heel will effectively completely heal (no pun intended) any blistering for several days.

      I sometimes even proactively duct tape the contact points if I haven't worn my hiking boots for a few months.

      • Use medical tape instead, I do it often. It peels off easier and contains a more skin-friendly glue. It's cheaper too, and almost as useful as duct tape for most things. I carry a small roll everywhere (the geek bag) but duct tape wouldn't fit.

  • Comic book penciled by Jim Lee coming soon.
  • Lexi Lacey (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Lexi Lacey?!

    I suppose that's one more porn star we'll have in 18 year's time.

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:09AM (#33723568) Homepage Journal

    of what your Mom accidentally packed you for lunch.

  • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:12AM (#33723618)

    Everyone knows babies will keep better in tupperware

    • Oh god, what was the show - Eerie, Indiana [wikipedia.org], sort of a Twilight Zone/Haven thing. Actually was very similar to Haven, but predated it by 19 years. The pilot episode, "Foreverware", had people sleeping in non-trademark-infringing resealable plastic containers and living forever. Well, longer, at any rate.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ihmhi (1206036)

      So that's what they mean by burping infants...

  • by FrankDrebin (238464) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:12AM (#33723628) Homepage
    Or should I say Glad?
  • Some kid, hearing his slashdot-reading parents discuss this, decides to "play doctor" and stuffs his little brother into a trash bag? The industry will have to react by poking air-holes in all plastic bags. Wait, they do that already! Every new zip-top sandwich bag I fill with liquid seems to come pre-perforated.
  • by Prostate of Grace (1885118) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:18AM (#33723728)
    The $.05 sandwich bag was probably billed at $50+
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by choongiri (840652)

      It was in the UK. The fully itemised bill looks like this:

      |
      |
      |
      |
      |
      |
      |
      |

                                              Total: £0.00

      • I had returned, with family, to Ontario, Canada, after my H1B ran out in 2003 (Got sponsored for a Green Card in 2004 by the Redmond Devil, but that's a whole 'nother shameful story about prostituting ethics for permanent residency).

        Anyyyyywayyyyy, my then-wife got sick, and there was a three month wait for the silly socialized "care" there, so we had private health insurance (never got the Canadian health care back in any case, since we wanted as few ties as possible if we left again (and, we did)). So, of

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dgatwood (11270)

      No, more like:

      Sandwich bag: $0.15
      Bag overhead fee: $3.80 (the rest of the box)
      Emergency courier fee: $15,000 (guy running a block to the 7-11)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alain Williams (2972)
      OK, I know that you are being funny, but this happened in England. Here we have the NHS [wikipedia.org] so it would have been free. Anyway: our unit of currency is £.
  • Just wait... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lancelotlink (958750)
    Until you have a baby. None of these kind of comments will be funny anymore. Seriously.
    • Re:Just wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:48AM (#33724212)
      It's true: people with kids aren't fun to be around.
    • Seconded. Strongly seconded.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Scyth3 (988321)

      Until you have a baby. None of these kind of comments will be funny anymore. Seriously.

      Let me guess, you were a bag baby....?

    • I've had 2 babies, and I've had a couple chuckles so far in this thread. Granted, I browse at 3, but it's been pretty mild stuff about 10 comments in.

      • I'm pregnant with complications, browsing at -1, and still managed to get a few giggles in. Sometimes you just can't take life so seriously.

        • True, I joke about my kids illnesses, after the fact. "WTF is croup?!? He sounds like a dying beagle! Next you'll tell me my kid has the plague, totally normal, just wait it out."

          Anyway, good luck to you and your complications! Hope all goes well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)

      You're right. Parents lose their sense of humor awfully quick. Just one more reason not to be a parent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jweller (926629)

      My twin girls were born at 31 weeks and required a stay in NICU. I'm laughing. You should try it, you'll live longer.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      Ah, I see, so once you're a parent, your sense of humour is carved out of your skull? You're suddenly no longer able to see the humour in a situation that is both tragic and, ultimately, joyful?

      Wow... you're really marketing parenthood well, there, buddy.

    • by tool462 (677306)

      I have a kid. The jokes are still funny. I'm probably a lot more happy for that family than I would have been before I had a child, since I can identify with the stress and joy childbirth brings, but the jokes are still funny.

      I heard that the generic store-brand baggies didn't work. They had to use Glad bags with the yellow-and-blue-makes green seal (patented). It was guaranteed to lock in the freshness.

    • by zmooc (33175)

      So either you're an incredibly boring dad or you don't have a baby:P

  • True story that I witnessed myself: When a woman is about to deliver vaginally, there is a drape under her with plastic bags to collect the amniotic fluid and keep it from splashing all over the MD/midwife's legs and feet as they sit/stand there to help the baby out. In this case, the obstetrician dropped the baby as she came out (they are very slippery). By shear luck, the baby fell into the plastic bag instead of falling all the way to the floor. We all went "whew!" as the Daddy said "so THATS what tha
  • (Do I really need to put something in here to be more funny? I thought the title was good enough!)

  • The world record for preemies is about 18 weeks [wikipedia.org]. My girlfriend was about two months premature, and her younger sister was about 16 weeks premature -- and is doing surprisingly well, after a whole lot of surgery in her first six months. She had her twenty-first birthday last month and we were joking that she was actually only 20 1/2. But my girlfriend said that when her sister was born, she easily fit in a person's hand, and was covered in dark brown hair all over her body, so for years they called her 'm
  • And just as confusing...

    Infant insulating jacket. $247.58 billed
    Insurance adjustment: $198.42.
    Amount covered 49.16.
    Deductible $25.
    Insurance pays $24.16.

    Please pay $25.00
  • by bmajik (96670)

    Or is this a reflection on healthcare differences in the UK vs the USA?

    I had _twins_ born at 26 weeks gestation in April. THe claim that the UK doctors had never seen a baby born this early could only be true if one of the following were also true

    - it was a very small hospital and they didn't have much prematurity experience
    - the stated age is incorrect. when you use relative gestational ages (i.e. 14 weeks early), people disagree on what the "end goal" is.. is it 40 weeks? 38 weeks? 37 weeks? SInce pe

    • by xaxa (988988) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @12:26PM (#33724900)

      Perhaps you should read the article: "Worcestershire Royal Hospital only has the facilities to care for premature babies born from 28 weeks onwards and doctors wanted to transfer her to a specialist unit at Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital but there wasn't time."

      If more American hospitals are equipped to deal with babies born earlier than this that could explain a difference in survival rates, but I don't know if that's the case.

      Note that Sweden and Germany count the birth rate in the same way as the USA, but do better. At the end of this article [webmd.com] are some survival results for full-term births. On Wikipedia there's the 5-year survival rate.

      The oft-cited report about infant mortality in the US leaves out some important factors -- namely that socio-economic diversity in the US, and racial heterogenoy correlate with and explain some of our increased infant mortality.

      You could say the same about Britain. (From the article, we know this is a teenage (17) mother with an older (24) father, they aren't married, and they all have stereotypical working-class names.)

      Finally, we measure mortality much differently here than do most other places.

      Yet your own government (see here) [wikipedia.org] "concluded, however, that the differences in reporting are unlikely to be the primary explanation for the United States’ relatively low international ranking."

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bmajik (96670)

        Right. So in the US there are levels of NICU facilities (there are 3, i believe), and it works similarly in that a level foo facilitity cannot really support a child born earlier than a certain gestational age, or with certain difficulties.

        The place our children stayed was a "we can do anything" level facility, and one of the reasons it had a helipad is that they went and picked up babies from all over the state that couldn't be handled in the facilities they were in. Many of the nurses that worked on my

    • by Hatta (162192)

      You've got to ask yourself, when you do a cost/benefit analysis is spending tons of money keeping preemies alive really worth it? There's a point at which it's not cost effective to save them, and the right thing for the parents to do is try again next year, or choose adoption. While a personal tragedy, miscarriage isn't really a problem society needs to be spending lots of money on. Money spent on saving preemies could be better spent saving older children who have unique personalities and who society

      • by bmajik (96670)

        You've got to ask yourself, when you do a cost/benefit analysis is spending tons of money keeping preemies alive really worth it? There's a point at which it's not cost effective to save them

        Well, as long as I am paying the costs, I'd prefer to make that decision.

        I don't authorize you to decide for me, and I don't ask you to bear the costs.

        The main reason that I reject any government intrusion into my medical care is precisely this point of view. When society pays, society decides what to pay for. That is

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      "The oft-cited report about infant mortality in the US leaves out some important factors -- namely that socio-economic diversity in the US, and racial heterogenoy correlate with and explain some of our increased infant mortality."

      Interesting. I look at that statement and think makes poor performance worse. You seem to look at it and reach exactly the opposite conclusion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by uglyduckling (103926)
      There's a third option which you neglect: it's a stupid newspaper article full of hyperbole, from which you would be really silly to draw sweeping conclusions about the whole of neonatal care in the UK. Also, if you look on page 34 [who.int] of this report, it seems like the WHO don't agree with your figures, at least for 2006.
  • A life-saving technique, or a handy container for a delicious baby sandwich? Hmmmmmmmmm...

  • If human brain activity exists then I don't see how the child can be called a fetus.

    At what point in development does human brain activity typically begin?

    • I think it depends on how you define "brain activity". I believe that fetal movement (willful movement, that is) starts around 15 - 16 weeks of gestational age. Commanding movement would have to involve brain activity by definition. Involuntary movement starts around 10 - 12 weeks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dogmatixpsych (786818)
      It depends on your definition of brain activity. The neural tube closes at about week 6. There is movement by 8 weeks. Brain activity controls movement (unless the movement is only spinal reflex, but that would be difficult to determine). In any case, there is rudimentary brain function very early in development.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chowderbags (847952)
      Some would say it takes a couple decades..
  • Then there's the added bonus that she's also protected from freezer burn.
  • Sandwich
  • Babies in sandwich bags only sound impressive until you consider that there was an old lady who lived in a shoe.

  • The baby is so small, they are able to keep it alive technically. But it is likely to have a malformed or underdeveloped brain and deficient organ development. If it survives to be a vegetable some shyster will convince the parents to sue the maker of the plastic bag.
    • by level_headed_midwest (888889) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @02:45PM (#33727222)

      The brain and most of the internal organs develop relatively early during gestation. The lungs are the last major organ to mature and they are frequently what gives very premature infants trouble. Infants born before 32 weeks gestation don't produce surfactant (the stuff that keeps your lungs open so air can get in and out) themselves and can basically suffocate. Once you have them properly ventilated and such, they tend to do okay as long as they don't catch an infection. The immune system also is immature in a baby, but it generally doesn't really kick into gear until about 6 months of age for a normal infant, so it's not specific for premature infants.

  • by Sir Holo (531007) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @03:44PM (#33728068)
    ...if you are wealthy.

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