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When premature babies have to go to the operating table

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When premature babies have to go to the operating table

Maximum concentration: The small patient demands all of your attention in the operating room. Image: Lucas Bäuml

The risk of something going wrong during anesthesia increases the younger the patient is. At the Bürgerhospital in Frankfurt, attempts are being made to completely avoid general anesthesia for infants. How this can be achieved.

The automatic sliding door opens. A man in a blue coat and mask enters the operating room. The eyes of the other four people in the room are immediately on him. “Now let’s take a look at the little one,” says Julius Wermelt, head of anesthesiology at the Frankfurt Citizens’ Hospital. Five people are standing around an operating table, all of them dressed in blue coats. In the bright light, the six-week-old baby lying on the operating table looks even smaller.

A digital thermometer on the wall reads 25 degrees. The baby is still wearing a wool hat and is wrapped in foil and blankets. Matteo, who actually has a different name, is a premature baby and weighs less than two and a half kilograms. His due date would actually have been that day. Instead, he has been around for a few weeks now.

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