Hospital staff becomes second family to baby

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 4 August 2020: Zeina, an infant admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Corniche Hospital, will be celebrating her first birthday soon. Her family hopes they will be soon able to celebrate with her back home in Kuwait.

She is the one of twin babies born to a Kuwaiti family who decided to come to the UAE to access the medical care offered by the Corniche Hospital’s Fetal Medicine Unit during their pregnancy.

Zeina was born at Corniche Hospital prematurely at 24 weeks on August 8, 2019. She was admitted to the NICU where she received advanced and specialized medical care.

Zeina’s parents had to fly back home to attend to the rest of their children. Since February 8, 2020, Zeina has been under the full and sole responsibility of the Corniche NICU staff, who have been providing her with dedicated care, including daily pediatric physiotherapy sessions.

The NICU staff have developed a special bond with Zeina as they saw her blossom and grow from the 600gram pre-term newborn to the 8-kilogram healthy baby she is now; they witnessed her first smile, heard her first giggle and were inspired by her strength.

Parents’ Virtual Visits

Throughout this period, Zeina’s parents have remained closely in touch with her through the virtual NICU visits that the Corniche Hospital has introduced. The virtual visit technology allows parents who cannot visit their children due to movement restrictions or medical conditions to bond with their newborn, and communicate with the medical team that cares for their baby.

With the support of the NICU team, Lina, the mother, has been following Zeina’s development on a daily basis and has tuned in to her daily physiotherapy sessions.

Fetoscopic laser surgery

The Kuwaiti family had chosen UAE’s Corniche Hospital during pregnancy due to the in utero complications associated with twin pregnancies, and were seeking the advanced medical care that the hospital is well-known for. The condition was treated by a team of fetal medicine consultants where they performed fetoscopic laser on the twins inside the mother’s womb – a highly specialized procedure that is needed to treat severe twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in some monochorionic pregnancies.

“The Fetal Medicine Unit is the only center in the UAE and one of the few in Gulf that offers this procedure. We have completed the 100th fetoscopic laser procedure during this week, a milestone that marks our legacy of expertise in the fetal therapy. Mothers and fetuses are our patients.” said Dr Leanne Bricker, Consultant in Fetal Medicine and Chair of Fetal Medicine and Medical Imaging at Corniche Hospital.

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Dubai Gazette