Mira Shihadeh: Success Story

Mira was born on December 28th. Due to complications in delivery, the mother, Fatima, went into Cesarean section (C-section) in order to save her life and the baby’s.

During the stressful delivery, the baby inhaled amniotic fluid leading to a condition called meconium aspiration. In this case, the aspirated fluid that includes meconium blocked the newborn's airways, thereby causing a difficulty in breathing. Eventually, the blood gases of the baby dropped to a point that endangered her brain functions.

“The baby looked very bad, we immediately rushed her to Caritas Baby Hospital”, Ala’; the father, says. 

At CBH, the ICU medical team assessed the baby’s situation. “She arrived in a very critical condition,” Dr. George Juha, the ICU pediatrician says. He added, “We performed pediatric advanced life support (PLAS) on her and provided her with cooling therapy.” Such treatment reduces the infant's body temperature and its need for oxygen, which is already low in the blood, so as to protect the baby’s brain. After three days of cooling, the medical team was able to gradually increase Mira’s temperature back to normal, and kept her for observation for four more days.

Upon evaluating her situation on the last day in CBH, “All her vital signs look normal,” Dr. Juha says. Mira could go home now but the family was advised to follow up with the pediatric neurologist in fear of potential brain damage.

In early February, Mira’s parents brought her back to CBH for the newborn screenings and neuro-pediatric consultancy by Dr. Motee’ Al Ash’hab. Going back to the medical history, Dr. Al Ash’hab was very satisfied with the baby’s progress following the prompt intervention. “With the cooling procedure, we were able to reduce the chances of long-term brain damage,” Dr. Al Ash’hab stated. In Mira’s case, disabilities such as cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, or hearing and vision loss are very common consequences of oxygen insufficiency. The initial examination showed no such disabilities. However, her parents are required to check on the baby regularly during the first year. 

In the context of following up on Mira, the Department for Social Services (DSS) team visited the family house in Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem. They have already met Ala’, the father, during his regular visits to Mira at CBH. However, it was the first time they meet and talk to the mother, Fatima. Upon inquiring about her experience, Fatima said that she was very sad for not seeing the baby next to her after waking up from surgery. “I also couldn’t visit her at CBH because of my health condition,” the mother added.

However, today, Fatima and the whole family seem more relaxed. A healthy newborn is finally at home thanks to Caritas Baby Hospital.

Prepared by: Shireen Khamis