baby care

Jerusalem doctors deliver mum as she suffers stroke

Jerusalem doctors deliver mum as she suffers stroke

With two lives hanging in the balance, doctors in Jerusalem managed to deliver a baby while treating the mother who suffered a stroke.

The woman was nine months pregnant when she suffered a sudden stroke and was rushed to Shaare Zedek Hospital. Within minutes, a team of seven doctors devised a plan to save her life while preparing her for a cesarean delivery to ensure a safe delivery for the little girl.

“The delivery went well and the baby was born without any problems,” said the mother, who asked not to be named publicly. “At the end of the operation, they put the baby on me for a short time, the tests and other measures came out normal. »

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The woman, who is recovering at home, has agreed to share her story, which dates back to last month.

Dr Roni Eichel, head of the neurology department, said doctors and nurses worked hard and delivered the baby three hours after the mother arrived at the hospital.

“The stress was palpable; after all, we were responsible not for one life, but for two,” he told the Times of Israel. “After the delivery, the whole medical team was very emotional, and the next morning when I arrived in intensive care and saw them, I felt immense joy. »

The patient, who is a lecturer, had stopped speaking in mid-sentence during a presentation, without explanation. An audience member, whose father had recently suffered a stroke, immediately realized what was happening and called an ambulance.

Dr. Eichel and his team had never had to deal with such a case, because strokes in women about to give birth are rare.

“Strokes in young women normally occur after pregnancy, but not just before childbirth,” he said. “For doctors, the risks of a patient having a stroke during pregnancy are high. You want to do everything to save the patient, while also doing everything to save the baby. This is not obvious. »

Illustrative: A nurse tends to an infant in the new Shaare Zedek neonatal intensive care unit in Jerusalem, February 24, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A team of seven doctors took care of the patient. They performed imaging tests, including special CT scans that can very precisely locate the closed artery causing the stroke. Doctors ruled out surgery and decided to use drugs to try to stabilize her.

To protect the health of the unborn baby, doctors decided to perform a caesarean section as soon as possible, but first of all needed to stabilize the mother.

“We were able to stabilize the mother enough to have her undergo a C-section, but she still had some signs of a stroke,” Eichel said. “There was a risk of her neurological situation worsening after the caesarean section, but we were convinced, based on the scans, that she would be fine. »

Dr Roni Eichel, Head of Neurology at Shaare Zedek Hospital (Courtesy Shaare Zedek Hospital)

He says it was the quick reaction of the person in the audience who detected the stroke and called an ambulance that saved the lives of mother and baby, adding that he hopes it will inspire others. people to be vigilant.

“The main signs of a stroke are weakness of the limbs on one side of the body, difficulty speaking and facial deformity,” he said.

“If one or more of these signs appear, it is recommended to seek treatment at the nearest stroke unit.” Recognizing the warning signs can save lives. In this case, the vigilance of the conference participant saved the life of the mother and the baby. »

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