Baby R was 13 weeks old when he was admitted to St. Joseph’s late 2020. When he was born, a lack of oxygen resulted in brain damage and this affected his ability to swallow.
He had a tube placed through his nose down to his stomach to help him get the milk that he needed to grow. The muscles and valves involved in keeping the milk down in his stomach were also affected, and as a result he has severe reflux which caused all his milk to reflux out almost immediately as he was fed. Despite receiving medication to help control this response, he struggled to grow and put on weight.
The clinical teams of the tertiary hospital, St. Joseph’s and his mother were concerned about Baby R’s failure to thrive and together with support from the speech therapist and dietician they were able to reposition his feeding tube when it dislodged, supply continuous feeds from a feeding pump when needed, and supply high calorie feeds to achieve the first weight goal of 5kg. This weight achievement was crucial because it would allow him to be at a safe weight to receive a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) which is needed for long term tube feeding. Once he achieved his first weight target, Baby R continued to thrive under the care of the nursing team at St. Joseph’s where he received small volumes of milk every 2 hours. He was approved for surgery and received his PEG early in April 2021 shortly before being discharged.