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12 Sep, 2007 01:31

Hopes grow for early return of Turkey holiday baby

Doctors are set to fly to a Turkish holiday resort to examine a Russian baby born prematurely last week. Medics will assess whether the boy is strong enough to be flown home. The child was born two months early while his parents were on holiday.

Yulia Korsakova was seven months pregnant when she left Russia's Tver Region for a seaside holiday with her husband in Turkey.  The last thing either of them expected was that she'd go into labour eight weeks early.  

Doctors at the Anadolu Hospital performed a caesarian operation, delivering baby Sergey safe and well.  But his early arrival left his parents with medical fees they couldn't afford.  

They returned to Russia to find the money for the operation and Sergey's continuing care.  

The Turkish media reported the couple had abandoned their baby.  

But his mother returned to Turkey with good news.  Her insurance company and the travel agency had agreed to pick up the bill and pay for their return to Russia.

Delicate operation

But flying such a premature baby home is far from straightforward.  There are considerable medical risks involved.  Doctors at the Federal Disaster Medical Centre are on standby.  

“It's possible the baby will be able to survive the flight, but it's very dangerous. I talked to the doctors in Turkey and right now I believe that there are no conditions that would allow this baby to be transferred to Russia. At this point all financial and social issues have been settled, and I'm happy to say the baby can stay in Turkey for another month,” says paediatrician Leonid Rochal.  

Two post-natal doctors and two nurses will fly to Antalya, equipped with a mobile incubator, breathing apparatus and other medical equipment.  

They will try to recreate the conditions of an ambulance for Sergey's flight home. But air transport has its limitations. If something goes wrong, the doctors won’t be able to pull over and rush to a nearby hospital.  

The family will travel on a passenger flight to Moscow, hoping everything goes smoothly.
Wealth of experience
Federal disaster medical teams have over a decade of experience behind them. From Chechnya to Beslan, they're used to setting up mobile hospitals on the ground and even conducting surgery in the sky. They've saved half a million lives, including many babies.

Sergey’s fate upon his return to Russia is another area of concern. Private medical care is no less expensive here than in Turkey, but at least in their home town a public option may be available.