Baby G faces crisis
The Detroit Free Press (page A1, lower half)

July 18, 1982

Megan Carlson, one of the septuplets born on Monday, has been downgraded to critical condition due to respiratory trouble.

Doctors at Sinai Hospital say that she shows signs of hyaline membrane disease, a condition in which a newborn's lungs can not properly inflate due to a layer of protein. The condition is common in low weight and premature babies.

Megan, also known as Baby G, was the last of the septuplets to be delivered and had the smallest birth weight at an even 2 pounds. She and her sisters were nine weeks premature.

"We're very concerned about Megan," said Dr. Sandra Pilirez of the Sinai neonatal intensive care unit. "We're hoping for the best, but she has a battle ahead of her."

At its worst, hyaline membrane disease can result in organ failure and death, but with adequate breathing assistance, babies may recover within a few days. Doctors are increasing the level of oxygen that Megan receives through her ventilator.

"We will be watching her very closely," Dr. Pilirez said.

All the septuplets were in critical condition after their birth except Melissa (Baby A), who was in serious condition. All the babies received relatively high Apgar scores—numbers from 0 to 10 that estimate the health of a newborn baby. Megan's score was the lowest, at 6 one minute after birth and 7 after five minutes, the standard times at which Apgar scores are given. Scores between 7 and 10 indicate a healthy baby.

All except Megan and Molly (Baby E) were upgraded to serious condition within 24 hours of their birth. Megan was upgraded to serious condition on Friday, but downgraded again early this morning due to her lung condition. Molly's condition has also been unstable over the past few days. She showed some bleeding, but it was not in the brain, where doctors say it would be most dangerous. Molly was upgraded again to serious condition early on Thursday morning and has remained stable since then.

Melissa and Meredith (Baby C) were both upgraded to fair condition yesterday, with Meredith breathing on her own and Melissa likely to be taken off her respirator later today.

Doctors estimate ten weeks' further hospitalization for the babies.

The Detroit Free Press is a trademark of its respective company. Used without permission. This article is fictional.
The Carlson Septuplets, characters, and stories © 1994-2006 by Jessie Mannisto.