Gastroschisis: LFHC Saves Another Infant’s Life

Immediately after baby Sonesiphone was born at a hospital in Oudomxay Province, his parents saw that something was seriously wrong. They feared that their newborn son would not survive and decided to rush him to Lao Friends Hospital for Children. It was a long and stressful journey of seven hours.

The infant was admitted to Emergency Room upon their arrival and the ER team immediately recognized his condition as gastroschisis. This is a condition in which the baby’s abdominal wall is imperfectly formed and intestines develop outside the body.

Doctors prescribed treatments of IV amino acids, fluids and antibiotics while a surgeon attached a plastic silo bag to protect his organs. When the swelling in his intestines subsided six weeks later, a surgery team closed the hole in his abdomen. He has recovered and returned home with his parents.

LFHC has treated several infants born with gastroschisis during the past five years. The first life-saving treatment of one of these infants occurred in 2016 during the 2nd anniversary celebration of the hospital’s opening. Dr. Tim Wiener, then one of the board members of Friends Without A Border, happened to be attending the event at the hospital.

Upon hearing about the infant boy’s condition, Dr. Wiener, a pediatric surgeon, immediately left the anniversary celebration and joined a surgical team in the hospital. He showed the team how to protect the baby’s intestines and how to subsequently care for him.

Despite the infant’s premature birth weight and the host of infections and fevers that followed in the coming weeks, the team of loving parents, dedicated volunteers and talented medical staff was able to keep the baby alive.