The world’s smallest surviving baby boy ever born in Japan has been allowed home after a lengthy hospital stay.
He is the smallest newborn boy in the world to leave hospital safely after being delivered weighing 268 grams – less than 10ozs.
The boy, who has not yet been named, was delivered at 24 weeks after he stopped growing in the womb and was so small he could fit into an adult’s cupped hands.
He now weighs just over 7lbs, is feeding properly and has been discharged from Keio University Hospital, Tokyo.
His mum said: ‘I can only say I’m happy that he has grown this big because honestly, I wasn’t sure he could survive.
Doctor Takeshi Arimitsu, who treated the infant, said he wanted to tell people that ‘there is a possibility that babies will be able to leave the hospital in good health even though they are born small’.
Keio University Hospital said the boy was believed to now hold the record for the smallest newborn boy to be discharged from a hospital in good health.
The record was previously held by a boy born in Germany in 2009 weighing just 274 grams, the hospital said, citing a registry put together by University of Iowa for the world’s tiniest surviving babies.
The smallest surviving girl was born in Germany in 2015 weighing 252 grams, according to the registry.
The survival rate of the smallest babies is substantially lower for boys compared with girls.
Experts are still not entirely sure why, though there have been suggestions it could be partly related to the slower development of lungs in male babies, Keio hospital said.
The baby was discharged last week, two months after his initial due date, local media said.
Japan has one of the world’s lowest rates of infant mortality, according to UNICEF.
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