One of Vietnam's quadruplets undergoes successful laser eye surgery

TN News

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One of Vietnam's quadruplets is recovering from retinal laser surgery to save her from an eye disease that is common among  premature babies and can lead to vision loss.

Minh Nam, the youngest of the four girls, received the operation on Wednesday morning at Ho Chi Minh City Children's Hospital No.1, news website Dan Tri reported.

The four babies had check-ups on Monday at Tu Du, the city's leading obstetrics hospitals where they were born on June 20, and Nam was diagnosed with a severe case of retinopathy, which is caused by the irregular growth of retinal blood vessels which, if untreated, can result in scarring and retinal detachment.

Pre-surgery tests on July 31 revealed the baby was anemic and therefore required a transfusion of red blood cells.

Doctor Cam Ngoc Phuong from the children's hospital, said "45 minutes after the surgery, the baby was quite stable, looked strong and was breathing well."

Phuong said the surgery was successful from the start and the baby could be discharged as soon as one week, but will have to return for regular eye checks.

Tran Huu Dong, the baby's father, said in a Dan Tri report Tuesday "There's something like a layer of cloud in her eyes over the past four days. She reacted poorly to hands thrown in front of her face."

The four babies were delivered early in the 32nd week from a natural quadruplet pregnancy, a one in more than 700,000 rarity among pregnancies worldwide. The doctors decided to perform a C-section, expecting Tran Thi Tinh, 31, to suffer from prenatal convulsions.


Nam weighed 1.2 kilograms at birth and her sisters 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7 kilograms, needing kangaroo care (where the infant is held skin-to-skin by an adult) two weeks after birth.

They were all found with retina disease during a check at Tu Du one month after birth, and the parents, who are poor hired workers from Dong Thap Province 150 kilometers away, are asked to keep close observation at three other babies in case their conditions also got worse.

Ho Chi Minh City's Children's Hospital No.1 sees around 400 babies with retinal conditions due to preterm birth every year.

Doctor Phuong said preterm babies need special protection from dirt and noise as their eyes and ears are weaker than normal babies.

Breast milk is a recommended solution to increase the strength and immune system of such babies, but Tinh said she does not have enough milk for all four. C-section reduces breast milk in all women.

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