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Saving premature babies’ lives: report from neonatal resuscitation department


November 17 is World Prematurity Day. In St. Petersburg, survival rate among babies born preterm has been steadily growing, with only three premature babies out of a thousand dying. Saint-Petersburg TV Channel’s Dmitry Kovalyov has visited the neonatal resuscitation department of Children’s Hospital No1 to see how the work of doctors changed during the pandemic.

This is the first time parents have been able to meet their baby in four months. The girl was born preterm on the 24th week of pregnancy and was taken to the resuscitation ward immediately. 

Yekaterina Mukhsinova tells: ‘Today we can at last take our little girl home, thanks to the doctors. She was in a very severe condition, now she is stable.’

Sergey Voronovich, doctor of the neonatal resuscitation and intensive therapy department of Children’s Hospital No1, explains: ‘I believe our doctors have been able to help her get over all the problems and now we can let her go home. I hope she will be growing up and developing like other children.’

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic mothers are not allowed to the resuscitation wards. They can see their babies only via a video call. Such calls have become a daily ritual, when doctors tell parents about the condition of their children.

Babies come to this hospital in a critical condition. Other clinics do not have the necessary equipment to monitor little patients’ condition in such detail. At present, there are 54 babies in the resuscitation department.

Yulia Gorelik, chief neonatologist of St. Petersburg, deputy chief doctor of Children’s Hospital No1, tells: ‘Since 2021, we are going to have 70 beds. On the average, each baby spends here the time remaining till the normal birth term, it can be two or three months.’ 

Mortality rate among babies born with a weight under one kilogram has dropped by 38 percent. Doctors believe it is a great achievement.

Photo and video: St. Petersburg TV channel