Skip to comments.Baby Boy Saved by Blood Transfusions While in the Womb
Posted on 06/30/2014 11:06:11 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Lack of timely treatment could have killed the baby, who is now healthy
A series of blood transfusions for a baby while still in the mothers womb has resulted in a successful delivery in the capitals well-known maternity facility, the Corniche Hospital.
The hospital announced on Monday that the in-utero transfusions were required to ensure the baby boys health. He was born to Marwa Badee, an Egyptian resident, who has two other children.
Speaking about the case to Gulf News, Dr Leanne Brickers, chair of foetal medicine at the public hospital managed by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), said it was a rare instance in which the foetus had developed anaemia due to antibodies released by the mother.
This occurs when a mother is Rh-negative, which means that her red blood cells do not have a particular protein on their surface, known as the Rh factor. A foetus can however be RH-positive if it inherits the Rh factor from the father.
When the foetus blood mixes with the mothers, which typically occurs during delivery, the mothers body identifies the Rh factor as a foreign substance and begins to produce antibodies against it. And, in a subsequent pregnancy, the blood with antibodies can enter the body of another Rh-positive foetus and begin to destroy the Rh-positive red blood cells. This causes Rhesus disease, marked by severe anaemia.
Under these conditions, the baby can die if timely treatment is not provided, Dr Bricker explained. Rhesus disease is rare because 85 per cent of people are Rh-positive. Badee was however Rh-negative. She had two healthy children, followed by two miscarriages. The miscarriages probably occurred because her body had developed antibodies against the Rh factor, the doctor explained. When Badee visited Dr Bricker, she was 25 weeks pregnant.
The foetus needed a transfusion of freshly donated, irradiated blood within the next two weeks or it would not survive, the doctor said.
Over the course of the pregnancy, the foetus received four transfusions during weeks 26, 28, 31 and 34. The baby boy was healthy when delivered in May after 35 weeks, and he received one more transfusion 12 days later before being discharged
We had started to lose hope [of having another child]. Now we cannot contain our happiness when we see our baby happy and healthy, Marwa said.
This is the first time in-utero transfusions have been carried out at the hospital.
Foetal medicine is not only about detecting foetal abnormalities but it is also about optimising the outcome of every baby during pregnancy. We have always been committed to offering the most advanced services to our patients and are now endeavouring to introduce the latest medicine and therapeutic procedures for our mothers and babies, including foetal transfusions, laser treatments for complicated twins and in-utero shunts, said Dr Paul Bosio, chief medical officer at the hospital.
The hospital also has plans to further develop specialised outpatient services for multiple pregnancies, baby growth restriction and premature births.
Would be interesting to know if the mother had received the shot normally given here to a Rh negative mother at the end of each pregnancy that is supposed to prevent this problem in her next pregnancy
She cannot have received the shot. This problem would not have happened if she had.