Doctors Used a Plastic Sandwich Bag to Keep This Premature Baby Alive

When Isaac Derwent was born two months early during surprise labor, doctors used a sandwich bag to regulate his temperature
Doctors Used a Plastic Sandwich Bag to Keep This Premature Baby Alive


The sandwich bag was used under a blanket to help the baby’s skin retain heat and moisture more effectively than a blanket alone. 

Doctors at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, England, used a plastic sandwich bag to help keep a premature baby warm as the child was rushed to intensive care.

“Straight after being born Isaac was put into a plastic bag and the doctors said the idea behind that was to regulate his body temperature,” the baby’s mother told the Sun. “It was quite shocking to give birth and then for the first thing to happen is they put your baby in a sandwich bag.”

Isaac Derwent — born 10 weeks early — weighed only three pounds and 11 ounces at birth, and was placed into a neonatal care unit. There, an incubator was used to recreate a womb environment. Five weeks later, Isaac was well enough to be brought home, and his family will be hosting a fundraising campaign for the hospital’s maternity ward in March.

Isaac’s story, though unusual, is not even the first time that doctors at the same hospital used a plain sandwich bag to care for a premature baby. In October, Derriford staff used a sandwich bag from Tesco to warm Pixie Griffiths-Grant, born 20 weeks early and weighing 1.1 pounds at birth.

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Then, almost immediately after birth, the baby’s weight dropped to just one pound. To regulate the body temperature, doctors placed Pixie in a sandwich bag before wrapping her in blankets, a simple way to ensure that the baby’s temperature would be regulated. Pixie is also now doing well, and was able to go home with her parents when she reached five months of age.