Premature Babies

24 Week Baby Kept Alive With Bubble Wrap

I am always amazed at the lengths that doctors will go to to keep a micro-preemie alive.

When Gregor Craig arrived at just 24 weeks weighing a tiny 1lb 14oz, he was so small that his father’s wedding ring fitted over his arm.

His chances of survival were slim, but doctors wanted to give him every chance.

So they wrapped him in bubble wrap to keep him warm. Hospitals often use plastic wrap to help premature babies retain their body heat, but this was the first time the doctors in Kintyre, western Scotland, had used the bubble variety.

At just 24 weeks gestation Gregor’s mom began suffering severe stomach pain. Doctors found that her she was suffering from a urinary tract infection that triggered labor and they couldn’t stop the baby from arriving.

After he arrived, doctors only gave Gregor a 10 percent chance of survival.

After spending 17 weeks in the special care nursery, this little fighter has persevered through many setbacks including laser eye surgery at ten weeks to stop him from going blind as the blood vessels in his eyes hadn’t developed properly.

When Gregor reached 7lb, he was allowed home, even though he needs to still have daily oxygen, and his parents had to learn how to resuscitate him if necessary.

Mrs. Craig said: ‘He is now a happy six-month-old and incredibly all he seems to have is some slight hearing problems. It’s a small price to pay for having him here with us.’

While it is common to wrap babies this small in plastic wrap a second after birth to maintain their body temperature, I am not sure what benefit the bubbles add…

Every baby that arrives and survives at this gestation is a miracle. We wish this little fighter the best for the future.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

1 Comment

  • I’m not an expert but when I read it, it made perfect sense to use bubble wrap over regular plastic wrap.

    All those bubbles act as insulation. They are little pockets of air, warmed by the incubator and they retain
    that heat much better than tiny babies can. Babies that small cannot regulate their temperature, and mom used to be the one providing that insulation and regulation.

    Another analogy would be a neoprene wetsuit that you scuba dive with, or wear for water sports. Even though the wetsuit does not provide a water proof barrier, if you take that material and put a cross cut of it under a microscope, you’ll see tiny bubbles, these trap your body’s warmth and in turn keep you warmer in the water than if you had just a bathing suit on.
    It’s wonderful to see he is a running, playing, full of life little boy!

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