A Filipino baby born prematurely on a flight from the United Arab Emirates to the Philippines is being cared for in Vietnam after the plane urgently landed in Ho Chi Minh City so that the newborn could be taken care of in time.
The baby is the first child of a Filipino couple, Angelo Josephe Violete, and his 32-year-old wife Nedris Masahud, who were on Emirates Airlines flight EK332 from Dubai to Manila on August 22 when Masahud gave birth to a premature 1.2-kg boy baby in her 28th week of pregnancy.
The plane’s health staff gave initial care to the newborn and the pilot decided to make an urgent landing at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport. The baby and his mother were then taken to the Tu Du Obstetrics Hospital at 4:50 pm that day.
The boy suffered from serious respiratory failure as his lung could not operate normally due to the premature birth, said PhD. Dr Ngo Minh Xuan, head of the hospital’s Neonatology Department.
At that time, the baby’s father intended to hire a specialized aircraft with medical equipment to take his son back to the Philippines, but after Tu Du doctors consulted with him, he decided to leave the baby in the care of the hospital.
Since being put on a respirator and given intensive care, the newborn has gradually recovered and by yesterday afternoon, the baby’s health condition was relatively stable and he could breathe on his own, Dr Xuan said.
As a rule, aviation firms in Vietnam refuse to carry women who are in their 36th week of pregnancy or later, so pregnant women should inform airlines of their gestation periods when registering for flights.
As for pregnant women at 28-35 weeks, they are required to submit an ultrasound record proving the age of the fetus and a doctor’s certificate confirming that they are “well enough to fly”. Such a certificate must not be issued more than seven days before the flight date.