Many popular equipment or high tech advanced features have known to save the lives of people. It would be quite surprising or shocking, if I were to tell you that expert doctors of a reputed hospital used a plastic sandwich bag for saving a life. Yes, you read it right! A plastic bag was used to save not one but two lives at a hospital.
This incident also became quite popular amongst the media and several journals.
There were several theories and also criticism being shared across different platforms after this incident took place.
However, after understanding the true logic and need, it became one of the most successful medical campaigns ever in the medical records.
I will first discuss regarding an instance that involved the use of a common sandwich bag to keep a baby boy alive, few minutes after labour. Let’s understand what actually happened.
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What was the scenario?
Yes, the scenario or circumstances in which the sandwich bag was used is also quite important. You don’t often see a new born baby to be kept in a sandwich bag immediately after labour. Well in this scenario, a 30-weeks pregnant woman was out with her husband for casual shopping.
She experienced slight pain in her stomach while shopping, which she did not seem to take seriously enough. However, her husband remembered the complications in labour, during the birth of their first child and wasn’t prepared for any risk this time.
The first baby was eventually delivered by her husband (with the assistance from experts) at home considering the complications or urgency. Even though, the woman wasn’t too much concerned about the stomach pain, her husband understood the need to rush her to the hospital, fearing the need for labour immediately.
And truly, if her husband would not have rushed her to the hospital at that very moment, there would have been a need for labour at the shopping mall itself.
This was a wise decision and his suspicion proved right and the 30-weeks pregnant woman ended up delivering a baby boy, whose weight was just over one and a half kilos.
Precisely, the baby weighed just 1.6 kilograms. This was a premature delivery of the baby boy and it was a significant challenge to help the weak baby adapt to the completely different environment. He decided to rush his wife to the hospital, considering the labour history she possessed. This also proved decisive in saving the life of the baby. Such indications should never be neglected during pregnancy.
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The need for a sandwich bag
A small sandwich bag was then used to cover the baby boy, immediately after labour. Experts and doctors said that the sandwich bag, which was made of plastic was used specifically to regulate body temperature of the baby.
The temperature or warmth in the mother’s womb had to be replicated outside just after delivery or the baby’s life would have been in danger. It would be extremely difficult for the baby (premature baby) to adapt to the external atmosphere and hence, a plastic bag was used to create an artificial environment.
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The combination of incubator and a sandwich bag
The baby was wrapped in the sandwich bag and was kept in the incubator for a good period of time. In this instance, it was close to a month, but in other cases, babies were kept in similar state for up to three months also.
Premature babies are exposed to ‘hypothermia’, which is basically lowering of body temperature to undesirable levels. The combination of incubator and a sandwich bag helped create a conducive environment, protecting the baby from hypothermia and similar issues related to premature labours.
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Is this the first time? No!
There was another instance, when there was a need for a sandwich bag to save a life. This time it was a baby girl, who had stopped showing growth signs in the womb. The 28-weeks pregnant woman delivered a baby girl through caesarean,when the baby eventually stopped growing in the womb.The baby girl weighed just 500 grams, three times lesser than the baby boy (1.6 kg) discussed previously.
Doctors feared, if they could keep the baby girl alive for a few minutes or hours. However, the sandwich bag and incubator combination worked and the baby was discharged after a long stay of 5 months under observation.
The girl baby faced several obstacles only to grow stronger and weighed close to three and a half kilos, while discharging. This was certainly a miracle. Baby girl parents were also unsure if they could ever have her in theirfuture!
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The science behind the use of a sandwich bag
Use of sandwich bag constitutes a big science theory and was actually not used randomly but was used on purpose. The instances relating to premature deliveries cannot be predicted in advance. It is spontaneous and one has very little time or chance to prepare.
The plastic sandwich bag was something, which was available immediately and did not require intensive cost or preparation. The sandwich bag made of plastic material prevented heat loss and maintained the body temperature of the baby.
The skin of the babies, especially the premature ones are regarded too thin, leading to quick heat loss. If the body temperature of the baby dips dramatically, it can be extremely life threatening. To prevent this, a sandwich bag was wrapped around the baby before putting the baby into the incubator.
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Wise and cost effective!
Use of a sandwich bag in the emergency situation was not only wise, but was equivalently efficient and pocket friendly too. Parents are quite happy with their children now and have only one regret. The regret was for not being able to hold the baby in their hands immediately after the labour.
This regret could have been more, if high tech treatment was used that would not only cost a bomb, but also would require good amount of time for arrangement (which might not always be feasible in such emergency situations).
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Obviously, it was a unique experience for them, but they were more worried for the baby at that very moment. They relish their experiences today and are quite happy to be with their little one, who may have not been there, without the out of the box thinking from the doctors of the hospital.
However, they had several reactions, when their baby was put into a plastic sandwich bag. Initially, they were surprised (also shocked) and then a little worried, but later on after gaining insight about the reason, they were feeling a lot more assured about it.
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Sandwich bag the saviour!
Definitely the sandwich bag was a saviour for at least 2 babies, as discussed in the above instances. Premature births are not always so complicated, but you never know, when a baby actually needs the assistance of a sandwich bag to survive.
This was the primary reason why both parents had several good words to share about the doctors as well as the facilities that were offered to them. The healthcare industry has reached new levels, but sometimes, it is about these little things and instances, which also contribute towards saving a life.