QUESTION: My friends baby was born 3 months premature, she was out of the woods and discharged from hospital after 2 months.
2 weeks ago (baby being 3months old) the hospital gave her some jabs that all babies are supposed to take upon reaching 3months however I asked the nurse that as the baby was premature her organs were still not as developed as a full term baby and if it would affect her. They said no! It would not affect her.

The baby then broke out into a fever! They gave her paracetamol and antibiotics! A few hours later she was short of breath and her entire body was swelling up!
She is now in ICU and she is hooked up to life support!
No one can give us an answer as to what is wrong with her! They gave her a blood transfusion  she looked a bit better and the swelling went down but after 8hrs she is all swollen again! Is it her kidney?? Can anything be done?

ANSWER: Hi, Sabrina,

I would agree that there is no reason NOT to give the standard vaccinations to a premature baby.  We all the time would recommend giving the first set of vaccinations at two month chronological age, and not taking into account the prematurity.  This is standard, accepted and safe practice.  No one did anything wrong giving the vaccinations at this time.

I have no idea what is going on with her.  Presumably she is in a good pediatric hospital and the doctors should be giving the parents good discussions regarding their thoughts. I hope she does well.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Dr Olson,
Thank you for your prompt response.... Sadly the Doctors here are not communicating very well with the Parents!  All they say is "we don't know whats wrong with her!"
We live in the Seychelles and our resources are limited!  Could you advise an alternative solution?  We are trying to see if we can send her to South Africa for treatment/diagnosis however resources are limited to do so! There is no facility of putting the baby on a plane on life support!


Somehow I missed this reply. Sorry!

I would have to just rely on the expertise of the physicians who are caring for her.  I suspect that the local docs can conference by phone or virtually electronically and can give all the information and get suggestions from the doctors in South Africa.  This is what I would do as a pediatrician caring for a very sick infant who can't be transferred.  Keep me posted and my prayers are with you.

Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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