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Premature Baby Kept Alive With Plastic Sandwich Bag

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Premature Baby Kept Alive With Plastic Sandwich Bag

Quick thinking doctors keep baby alive using plastic sandwich bag…

British doctors have saved the life of a severely premature baby by using a plastic bag from the hospital kitchen to insulate her.

Lexi Lacey was born 14 weeks early and weighed just 14 ounces (396g). Doctors told the family that she had a 10 percent chance of survival.

lexi lecey 14 premature Premature Baby Kept Alive With Plastic Sandwich Bag

Lexi Lacey 14 Weeks Premature

To keep her alive doctors had to use the smallest insulating jacket they could find, which turned out to be a 15cm plastic sandwich bag from the hospital kitchen. Mother Chelsea Rowberry said:

”The doctors told us they had never known a baby born as prematurely as Lexi survive…

”She was so tiny the only thing they had to keep her body temperature warm was a sandwich bag from the hospital canteen – it’s incredible to think that saved her life…

”People look quite shocked when I tell them she’s okay, a lot of people didn’t like to speak to me at first…

”But when they see her now people don’t believe me when I tell them how premature she was.” [BBC]

During the 26th week of her pregnancy, mother Miss Rowberry started experiencing excruciating pain in her abdomen. Miss Rowberry and her partner Lee Lacey, 24, feared she may was having a miscarriage and were quick to call the maternity ward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, but the staff told them there was nothing to worry about and to go back to sleep.

After symptoms did not subside Chelsea’s mother Gillian decided to call an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital.

Miss Rowberry said.

”It was frightening. I rang the maternity suite and they just told me to go to sleep…

”Then a few hours later I had really bad cramps and mum rang an ambulance.” [BBC]

Gillian Rowberry, 48, added:

”I think I panicked but I knew in my heart she was in labor. ‘My biggest priority was just to make sure they were both okay.” [BBC]

Unfortunately facilities Worcestershire Royal Hospital are only equipped to care for premature babies born during the 28th week and onwards. This lead to confusing as doctors wanted to transfer her to a specialist unit at the Birmingham’s Heartland Hospital but worried there was not time.

When all insulating jackets were too big, quick thinking medics grabbed a plastic bag from the hospital kitchen and used it keep her warm while she was transferred to Birmingham.

Lexi was kept in the baby unit at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital for three days before being transferred to Shrewsbury Royal Hospital. She then spent a further 11 weeks recovering at Worcestershire Royal Hospital before finally being allowed to return home on September 3.


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  1. Laura Roberts: Doctors insulate premature baby using sandwich bag. Telegraph UK, 09/28/2010.

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