Sunday, September 02, 2007

Byler Babies arrive

Karoline Byler, of Wesley Chapel, Florida, can finally take a deep breath. Her babies were delivered Saturday, September 1, between 9:00 and 9:03 pm at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. They were taken through the connecting tunnel to adjacent All Children's Hospital. The 2 hospitals have been planning for months and there's a video linked from the All Children's web site that describes the plans. The hospitals have managed many sets of multiples - including quintuplets, so they are understandably confident of their ability to manage the Byler babies.

From the All Children's Web site:

Names and birth weights for the five boys and one girl are as follows:

Brady Christopher - 2 lbs., 8 oz.
Eli Benjamin - 3 lbs
Ryan Patrick - 3 lbs
Jackson Robert - 2 lbs., 10 oz.
Charlie Craig - 2 lbs., 5 oz.
Mackenzie Margaret - 2 lbs., 9 oz.

They describe the babies condition as stable, except for Ryan Patrick who is "receiving airway support" and in serious condition. To me, that means something short of a ventilator because that would generally be described as critical condition. The babies were born at 29 weeks, 4 days gestation. There are certainly risks for these babies, but at 29+ weeks and having come through delivery with apparently no major complications, statistics are in their favor.

The family, with an eye to supporting these 6 additions to their family, has signed an exclusivity contract with Inside Edition reportedly worth $12,000, so you'll have to watch their broadcast if you want to see pictures of the babies today. As the reporters in the video I linked above said, that will buy a lot of diapers.


I should have anticipated this.
2 of the Byler babies are now in critical condition and 2 others in serious condition. It's quite common for 29 week preemies to have some respiratory issues and I hope that's all that's going on here.

We call that initial period when the baby does so well the "honeymoon" and it last about 24 hours. The babies start running into problems with inadequate surfactant production after that.

If that's the issue, the 2 who are in critical condition probably had to have a breathing tube placed so they could receive surfactants. They'd be kept on the ventilator for a period afterwards. The time frame would depend on how quickly they recover. The 2 in serious condition may need respiratory support short of a ventilator. They may recover without needing a ventilator, or they may need some surfactant replacement within the next day or so themselves.

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