One of the tiniest babies ever born at Regional One Health is truly a star of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Starr Farris weighed an astonishing 14 ounces, or roughly the weight of a canned good, when she arrived on October 21, 2012. She was almost four months early. Her nurses marveled at the way she progressed through many of the health hurdles most NICU babies face.
“She actually had a very uneventful stay, which for someone of her gestational age and size is pretty remarkable,” said Kelly Smith, nurse manager. “Her biggest hurdle was coming off the ventilator. She was on it for 25 days, which is really not that long for such a small baby.
“Starr was a tiny little fighter from the get-go. She is one of the smallest babies we have had that has survived such a low birth weight.”
Starr was sent home with her loving parents on Valentine’s Day after a 16-week stay in the hospital.
About 7,500 babies are born in the United States each year weighing less than one pound. Of those, only about 10 percent survive.
“She actually had a pretty smooth course here,” Smith said. “Like all small babies she was at risk for infections, potential hearing loss as well as risk for loss of eyesight. She was discharged with no hearing problems or eye problems.”
Starr’s early arrival was a result of her mother’s high blood pressure during pregnancy. Most full-term babies are born after 38-42 weeks gestation.
Shaundra Farris says she couldn’t be happier with the level of care her daughter received while she was in the hospital.
“The nurses and doctors here are great,” she said. “We are very happy with the care we received at Regional Medical Center.”