Premature Baby With Less Than 1% Survival Chance Officially Breaks The World Record

Guinness World Records has determined that the baby who was born in Alabama at 21 weeks gestation last year is the most preterm baby to survive.
Curtis Means was born to his twin sister C'Asya Means on 5 July 2020 at The University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital. According to UAB, the twins had a less-than 1 percent chance of survival. They were born at 21 weeks and one day gestational age. Guinness World Records says they were approximately 19 weeks (or 132 days) premature.

According to the UAB statement, "Numbers indicate that babies born so early have little or no chance of survival." Dr. Brian Sims of the UAB, who is a professor of pediatrics and was on-call when Michelle Butler arrived at the hospital with the twins, stated in the UAB statement.

C'Asya didn't respond to treatment, and she died one day after being born. However, Curtis' heart rate and oxygen level started to increase.

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Sims stated that it was the first time Sims had ever been able "to bring a baby this young to the neonatal intensive car unit." "We were in unknown territory."

A small Curtis connected to tubes. (The University of Alabama, Birmingham)

Curtis received constant medical care, including help to breathe, regulate his body temperature, and to take in nutrition. After three months, doctors were able remove Curtis from the ventilator.

"Curtis defied every scientific odds," Dr. ColmTravers, an assistant professor at the Division of Neonatology, stated in the statement. Travers was Curtis's caretaker.

He said that the two most important predictors of whether a baby survives are age and birth weight. Travers stated that a baby who is female, singleton, or was given steroids prior to birth increases the odds of survival.

According to Guinness World Records, Curtis was only 14.8 ounces (420g) at his birth. This is about one-seventh of the average full-term baby.

Curtis, who was getting stronger every day, was discharged nine months later from the hospital. Curtis was treated with medication and received special equipment such as a feeding tube, bottled oxygen and other medical aids. Curtis, or "Poodie" as he is affectionately known, was able to qualify for the Guinness World Record after his first birthday.

Curtis was discharged six months later when Curtis’ care team met outside the hospital where Curtis was born to surprise Curtis’ mother with a Guinness World Record Certificate.

Richard Hutchinson was the previous record holder. He was born on June 5, 2020, 21 weeks and 2 day gestation. The record had remained unbroken for 34 year prior to that.

Curtis with Michelle Butler, his mom. (Andrea Mabry/The University of Alabama at Birmingham).

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