Woman suffering from swine flu gives birth

Woman suffering from swine flu gives birth

A 28-year-old woman who was suffering from swine flu successfully gave birth to a baby recently in a private hospital here.   

The woman was over seven months pregnant when she was referred to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Pregnant women are at higher risks of contracting severe forms of swine flu and in most cases the infection can be life threatening, according to doctors. It also becomes difficult to revive the patients or to save the babies, they added.

On January 25, the woman was admitted to the hospital with fever, cough and breathlessness. “The woman was suffering from bilateral pneumonia. The oxygen level of the mother was very low and the foetus was also deprived,” said Dr Arup Basu , Chairperson , Department of Chest Medicine, SGRH.

The doctors were in a dilemma as the woman was at an advanced stage of pregnancy and had tested positive for the H1N1 virus. The foetus was also deprived of oxygen.

Even though a premature delivery was the only option, the baby would be at a higher risk if born before 32 weeks, doctors said.

“The foetus had under-developed lungs. We gave medicines to the woman so that the foetus would absorb it for slightly more developed lungs. This had disadvantages as the mother was at a higher risk of developing complications now. This was covered up by giving special treatment to the mother,” said Dr Basu.

The woman was given medicines which would induce labour pain for delivery. On January 29, she gave delivery to a baby.

Pregnant women should ideally avoid crowded places to avoid falling prey to H1N1 virus. Any viral infection during this stage makes the woman vulnerable to secondary infections. Flu can be  largely prevented for pregnant women and their babies if they take vaccination, said doctors.

“Pregnant women infected with H1N1 virus can rapidly develop imbalance in blood pressure and pulse rate. This affects lung function. The chances of mortality obviously increases,” said Dr Geeta Mediratta , senior consultant, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the hospital.

In this case also, the patient was suffering from respiratory failure before she was resuscitated.

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