Doctors at Dubai Hospital successfully saved the lives of triplets and their mother who was in a critical condition after giving birth.
The mother initially slipped into a coma for two days and after she woke up it took intense physiotherapy to restore her back to health.
After 18 days of round-the-clock care, the 47-year old is now back home with her babies.
Last month, the mother was rushed to the emergency room at Dubai Hospital with labour pains. Doctors immediately took her to the labour suite for an emergency C-Section. While the operating theatre was being prepared, the patient developed convulsions, her oxygen level dropped and her heart stopped.
A multidisciplinary team of doctors, including three obstetricians, an intensivist and an anaesthetist quickly attended to the patient.
Since the mother’s heart was not pumping blood, there was no blood reaching the mother’s organs and the three babies were in distress. The team were aware that they only had a short amount of time to deliver the babies. To avoid the risk of the mother and the babies’ brains suffering from low oxygen levels, the doctors immediately started lung and heart resuscitation (CPR).
Dr Lamiaa Salama, intensivist at Dubai Hospital said, “The patient and her babies were in a very critical condition. As the team leader for CPR, I was striving to provide the best CPR, to maintain a good blood supply to the mother’s body and the three babies. I had to take care of the four hearts at the same time. There was no option to sacrifice any of them.
Each team member was doing their role in harmony as, in such complicated cases, multidisciplinary specialists are important.
“While I was carrying out the CPR, the anaesthetist was placing a tube through the patient’s mouth and windpipe to ensure effective artificial breathing. Chest compressions were ongoing to assist blood circulation through the heart and the rest of the mother’s body. At the same time, three obstetricians were performing the caesarean section. The team was able to deliver the three babies successfully in less than 10 minutes.
“The babies were then rushed to the NICU. In the meantime, the mother regained her spontaneous blood circulation.”
The patient was then moved to the ICU. Dr Salama said, “Due to the lack of oxygen and the fact that her heart had stopped pumping for ten minutes, the mother’s brain had suffered a lot and she slipped into coma. She was placed on a ventilator with other supportive medications and care to help the brain and heart recover.
“She had three beautiful babies waiting for her. We provided round-the-clock care and hoped she would bounce back. After two days, she started regaining consciousness and did not need ventilator support. She was put on an intense programme of physical rehabilitation and psychological support, as she was initially very confused and extremely weak.
“With each passing day, we felt renewed hope as she slowly began walking again, and was able to eat and drink.”
After nine days of ICU care, doctors transferred her to the general ward where she continued her rehabilitation programme to regain full orientation and strength. After 18 days at the hospital, she made a full recovery and this time she was able to walk unassisted to the NICU to feed her babies.
Dr Cecille Dabu-Fortun, anaesthetist at Dubai Hospital, said, “The results we achieved in such a complicated case was due to the meticulous efforts of each single member of the team.”
Dr Salma Al Mahdi, obstetrician at Dubai Hospital said, “It was not an easy task. My colleagues Dr Zenab Tambawala and Dr. Masuma Cherawala and I worked together to overcome the obstacles.”