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Fetal-maternal hemorhhage

Baby survives fetal-maternal hemorhhage, is born without any blood

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: fetal-maternal hemorhhage, blood loss, baby delivery


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(NaturalNews) Three weeks before her due date, expectant mother Jennifer Juarez felt that something was going wrong. Her baby had kicked up to 10 times in a half-hour and then suddenly went still. She consulted her midwife. Their gut instincts led Jennifer to the hospital, where she underwent an early delivery on December 2013 by emergency cesarean section.

After the surgery, her daughter Hope arrived seemingly normal, except something was definitely wrong. Hope was extremely pale, ghostly white. As the doctors pricked her foot to measure oxygen levels, they could barely get a drop of blood from her.

Baby loses 80 percent of blood, survives severe hemorrhage

In the womb, Hope had lost 80 percent of her blood, which drained during a fetal-maternal hemorrhage.

"When they first pulled her out, she looked perfectly fine," said 27-year-old mother Juarez of Fountain Valley, Calif. "But she was ghost white. She was breathing like a normal baby, but she had no color to her, not even pink."

The six-pound two-ounce baby, Hope, had a hemoglobin level measuring only 3.8, significantly lower than the average newborn measurement typically between 10 and 15.

Miracle baby shows no sign of neurological damage after losing most of her blood

The National Institutes of Health reports that fetal-maternal hemorrhage is rare and is usually signaled by decreased fetal activity. Many who suffer this tremendous loss of blood often die in the uterus and come out of the mother stillborn. Babies that survive can have neurological damage. Hope showed no signs.

Dr. Marielle Nguyen, a neonatologist at Kaiser Permanente, Irvine Medical Center, said that the child was saved because the mother listened to her instinct. Dr. Nguyen says all signs show that Hope will have no problems going forward after receiving an emergency blood transfusion.

"We have seen this, but not often," said Nguyen. "In Hope's case, her outcome was beautiful because it was the classic textbook case they tell you about. The mom knew right away that she had a clue something was wrong. She couldn't feel the baby move. And she came in right away and we delivered the baby. If we had waited any longer, the outcome would have been different."

The maternal hemorrhage is sometimes unexplainable but oftentimes is caused by trauma to a pregnant woman's abdomen, anything that may cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall.

"A lot of times it's spontaneous," Dr. Nguyen said. "In a normal pregnancy the baby loses a little bit of blood, but it's rare to lose more. When she came out, she had lost so much it was difficult to draw any blood from her."

Timely instinct saves baby Hope from stillborn death

Jaurez, who was 37 weeks along at the time of the hemorrhage, talked to her midwife about her gut feelings, about the sudden stillness in her stomach. The midwife quickly prodded Jaurez to go to the hospital and be checked out - advice that ultimately led to the rescue delivery of her daughter. At the hospital, a prompt ultrasound showed that Hope's heart rate was beginning to drop. "It was all a bit of a blur and a little chaotic," said Juarez. "It was scary."

Hope was delivered immediately in surgery. Missing most of her blood, Hope was quickly transfused. Immediately, Hope latched onto her mother, showing no signs of neurological damage.

"She's quite a fighter," said Hope's mother. "She's doing everything a baby at her age should be doing. She is smiling and lifting her head and eats really well. She has hit all her markers."

"It's so amazing she was able to survive and do so well. We are thinking God must have a special plan for her. Everyone asked us if we had named her after the situation. We didn't. But it was meant to be."

Sources for this article include:

http://abcnews.go.com

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