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Sharjah: A baby was successfully delivered in a car outside the emergency room of Medcare Hospital Sharjah in the early hours of Sunday.

Medcare, the premiumhealth care division of Aster DM Healthcare, reported the rare emergency.

According to hospital officials, nurses rushed outside after hearing a car horn and found the woman, who had just delivered her baby in the back seat of the vehicle.

Nurses placed the crying baby on the mother’s chest and covered it with a blanket. Doctors then cut the umbilical cord before transferring the baby to the maternity ward, where routine checks were carried out.

Both mother and baby, whose identities have not been revealed, were said to be doing well.

Emergency deliveries such as this are very rare in the UAE, and this was the first reported successful delivery in a car at Medcare Hospital Sharjah.

Births that occur outside of the hospital setting — referred to to as ‘born before arrival’ (BBA) — or planned home births that are not attended to by a healthcare professional are rare but they do happen.

Doctors typically recommend that women are rushed to hospital to deliver once their water breaks or when contractions become regular — meaning four or five minutes apart for more than an hour. But sometimes, neither of these signs of labour occur — it is important to keep calm in these emergency situations.

Unusual event

Dr Kishan Pakkal, chief operations officer of Medcare Hospital Sharjah, said: “At Medcare, we believe the patient safety comes first, which in this case included both the mother and child. We also counsel expectant mothers to be fully aware of all possible scenarios and the ability to deal with any unusual event to the extent possible before they reach the hospital.”

While many women express concern about giving birth en route to the hospital, doctors emphasise the most important precaution is for pregnant women to be aware of the risks and be prepared for emergency situations — to ensure the best outcome for their babies.

One study found that women who had gone through a BBA birth were most likely to be having their second baby or expecting a girl. These BBA births occur more commonly in the birth of preterm babies and babies with lower birth weight. Potential factors leading to BBA births include how far the mother is from hospital and if the family falls in the low maternal socioeconomic status bracket.