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Please join me again in praying for Rhea and little Rayanne. I got this e-mail today. My heart is breaking for this little lamb and her mommy.
______________________________

Jeanie

I had a text message from Rhea last night, Rayanne has something wrong
with her blood which has caused her to fit. She has now been moved to the
Special Babycare Unit in the Leicester Royal Infirmary, where they are
carrying out test for brain damage etc. I just feel so sick. I am sure
you will join with me and lots of others to pray that everything will be ok
for the little mite.

God bless
 

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Just in case you didn't see this yesterday, this was the baby who was just born. Her mother was in the hospital for a month with high blood pressure, and we thought the baby was all right. Please pray for her!
 

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I got an e-mail and the news is great! I hope this is the end of the worry and health problems. I won't stop praying. I have never heard of this condition, but maybe Lori or any of our other nurses or medical people have.

Here's the e-mail:
Rhea and Rayanne are going home tomorrow. Rayanne had too much blood in
her body, so they have had to drain some. She is now on medication for 6
weeks, so as to control it. However she is feeding well and thriving.
Hospital have said there should be no long term problems.

I am so pleased for them.

kind regards
 

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Aha, sounds like polycythemia vera to me. This is a condition where your bone marrow is producing too many blood cells (mostly the red blood cells). Treatment is usually phlebotomy (removing blood). However, this condition usually occurs in adults. May be this or something similar to it.
I'm glad that she is now doing well and will be able to go home!
 

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Thank you, Shlanon! I have spent over an hour trying to understand the medical jargon. I got the word hypervolemia, which is an abnormal increase in the volume of plasma in the body, and I found this description of the symptoms.

Pediatrics in Review
... Hypervolemia. ... Affected patients, especially infants, frequently exhibit disturbances
of ... such as muscle twitching, hyperreflexia, or even convulsions. ...
medicine.ucsd.edu/.../ Fluids%20and%20Electrolytes%20Clinical%20Aspects%20Peds%20in%20Review%20Nov%201996.htm - 101k - Cached

I looked for a cause and the only one that seemed to make sense had to do with twins, one of which had too much blood, the other, too little. (Of course, Rhea had only one baby.) There was also what seemed to be an old physician's tale about waiting too long before clamping the umbilical cord, giving the baby too much blood.

I also found polycythemia, but the article was written for medical students, and was not in standard American English. The two conditions seem to occur simultaneously, I gather.

Thank you so much for clarifying this! This baby might as well be a blood relative; I am so fond of her parents. Do I dare ask if the prognosis is usually good?
 

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Jeanie, it looks like the term is actually "polycythemia of the newborn" which is different than what I was thinking and actually (I *think*) less serious.
Here are some risk factors "A newborn who is born postmaturely or whose mother has severe high blood pressure, smokes, or lives at a high altitude is more likely to have polycythemia. Polycythemia may also result if the newborn receives too much blood from the placenta at birth, as may occur if the newborn is held below the level of the placenta for a period of time before the umbilical cord is clamped."
I believe you said her mother had high blood pressure, so that may have been one of the factors.
Everything I have read points seems to indicate that this is a transient condition. So hopefully once they get it under control, it shouldn't ever be a problem again. This is quite different than polycythemia vera (my initial guess) which is actually an ongoing problem. But it looks like the causes are different, in newborns it looks to be caused by in utero conditions and so the most critical period is in the hours and days after birth.
I found this statement about prognosis "The outlook is good in infants with mild hyperviscosity and in those with severe hyperviscosity that receive treatment. "
Of course, this is all my own research and speculation...I am definately not an expert by any means! Your friend's doctor will hopefully tell her all the details of it.
 

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Thank you, Shlanon. That eases my mind considerably. My thanks to all of you who have been praying for this baby. Prayer truly works miracles. Bless all of you who have held this baby in their thoughts and in their hearts.
 
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