MSNBC Features UCSF 'Miracle Babies'

July 24, 2001
News Office: Janet Basu (415) 502-6397

Families whose babies' lives were in danger at birth share their stories in MS-NBC's documentary "MSNBC Investigates: Miracle Babies," airing at 6 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Wednesday, July 25. The documentary will air again at 2 a.m. Thursday, July 26 and at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 29.

Four babies - including premature twins -- were treated at UCSF Children's Medical Center with surgery soon after birth. Two mothers faced the choice of undergoing an operation themselves in hopes of saving the lives of their babies still in the womb.

Filmed at UCSF Children's Medical Center for MSNBC by Bay Area documentary makers Ray Telles Productions, the hour-long program reflects the skills and experience that make it possible to operate on infants soon after - and sometimes before - they are born. Each year, several hundred infants are born at UCSF or transported here soon after birth because they need treatment for major congenital anomalies. UCSF surgeons are leaders in surgical innovations for newborns, including complex operations on vital organs, and the world's first fetal surgeries. The surgeons depend on teams of physicians, nurses and other specialists who make these operations possible with their experience in prenatal diagnosis, care for mothers during high-risk pregnancy, anesthesia during operations and neonatal intensive care before and after surgery. A recent study conducted at UCSF showed that for one type of life-threatening birth defect, accurate prenatal diagnosis and expert care from the moment of birth made a significant difference in the number of newborns who survived surgery