Hospitals tiniest baby heading home

first_imgThe evidence of Harley Gulliksen’s achievements line the doorway into her room.“Central line in for 47 days and remained infection free!” “24 days on the ventilator and remained pneumonia free!” “Nippling entire bottle!” The laminated certificates announce her milestones to anyone walking through the neonatal intensive care unit at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.Five months ago, those milestones weren’t guaranteed.When Harley was born prematurely on Dec. 20, she weighed just 15 ounces. She measured 10 inches. Her tiny arm was shorter than an adult’s pinky. Her foot wasn’t much bigger than a quarter.Even though Harley was born at 271/2 weeks — a full-term pregnancy is 38 to 40 weeks — she was closer in size to a fetus at 22 or 23 weeks. She is the smallest surviving baby ever to be delivered at Legacy.Harley’s record-making arrival was featured in the Christmas Day edition of The Columbian. Friday, baby Harley will finally go home.“I’m really excited, but it’s almost unreal because it’s been so long,” said Harley’s mother, Tiffany Burril.Harley’s 149-day stay at Legacy sets another record: The longest stay in the NICU.Harley got off to a good start; doctors thought she’d be home by her due date, March 20. But a couple weeks after birth, Harley experienced lung complications, said Dr. Bret Freitag, the NICU medical director. She spent 33 days on a ventilator while she fought an infection and a collapsed lung.“She has spent the most time on the ventilator for any baby we’ve cared for here at Salmon Creek,” Freitag said. “We managed to get her through a couple of really rocky periods.”last_img

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