Foetal blood-1626502903057
Dr Leanne Bricker with Nour SaadAllah Jabour, mother of the baby who received the 100th transfusion at Abu Dhabi's Corniche Hospital. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Hospital has treated 100 babies through foetal blood transfusions, thereby allowing in-utero care for babies.

Foetal blood transfusion is required when a baby is anaemic — a low red blood cells count — as a result of an infection or when the red blood cells are destroyed. It most commonly occurs when the mother’s and baby’s blood types are not compatible and the mother has antibodies that cross the placenta and attack the baby’s red blood cells.

Foetal anaemia can have serious adverse effects, including cardiac complications, because haemoglobin carries oxygen and red blood cells that are important in maintaining the normal function of the blood. At Corniche Hospital, foetal medicine specialists insert a needle into the mother’s abdomen with ultrasound guidance to provide the foetus with necessary blood supply.

“Foetal blood transfusions are rare and require a high level of precision and expertise. Today, as we mark 100 successful foetal transfusions, we celebrate a milestone that reinforces our expertise in treating unborn babies,” said Dr Leanne Bricker, chair of the Foetal Medicine and Imaging Department and consultant in foetal and maternal medicine at Corniche Hospital.

“I am thankful to the leaders of this great nation for creating an environment where we are comforted knowing there is easy access to world-class health care. We were terrified when we found out that our baby would need a blood transfusion while still in my womb, but the incredible team at Corniche Hospital put all my worries at bay. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the doctors and nurses, led by Dr Leanne Bricker,” said Nour SaadAllah Jabour, mother of the baby who received the 100th transfusion at the hospital.

Established in 2014, Corniche Hospital’s Advanced Foetal Medicine Unit brings together foremost experts in the field.

“We receive patients from across the country and the Gulf region. By collaborating with maternal, neonatal and paediatric experts, we provide comprehensive care that ensures the best outcome for both mother and child,” Dr Bricker said.

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“I thank God every day for the medical care I received while I was pregnant with Ibrahim, who is now seven years old and living a healthy life. This would not have been possible without Dr Bricker and the team at Corniche Hospital. I remember being so scared as I had two miscarriages before Ibrahim, but the medical team assured me that this procedure was for the best. When I look at Ibrahim now, I know I was right to put my trust in them, said Marwa, mother of the first baby to receive a foetal transfusion at Corniche Hospital."