How doctors delivered Covid-19 expectant mother in Western Region

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A COVID-19 positive woman has been delivered of a bouncy baby girl at the Apinto Government Hospital in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality in the Western Region.

The baby was delivered via a Caesarean section by a medical team, led by a specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

The team, which was made up of doctors, nurses, midwives and anaesthetic, with support from cleaners, was confronted with the real life situation of saving the life of mother and child or ignore that for the fear of contracting COVID-19.

Narrating the operation to the Daily Graphic, the Medical Superintendent of the Apinto Government Hospital and Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, Dr Frank Baidoo-Ansah, said it was a critical moment in their lives as health workers.

“It was a life and death situation but we mustered courage and were strong-minded to overcome the understandable fear.

“Thankfully, professionalism won the day as we all came together and did what we know best to save both mother and baby,” he said proudly.

Vacuum delivery

Dr Baidoo-Ansah indicated that the pregnant woman (identity withheld) was already in an advance stage of her pregnancy when she tested positive for COVID-19 as a contact traced and was subsequently admitted to hospital for monitoring three weeks before the labour set in.

“The woman was actually at our treatment centre after she tested positive to COVID-19 and we have all along been taking care of her and were hoping that she would fully recover before going into labour, but that did not happen.

“When she began showing signs of being in labour, we started weighing the options; the entire team came together, assessed the situation and the verdict was: we had to do what would have been done in normal circumstances.”

“We monitored until she was fully dilated and to push the baby out but we realised that she was having difficulties pushing the baby out. We then decided to use a machine for vacuum delivery which proved unsuccessful, thus resorted to the final option, delivering her by surgery.”

Caesarean section

Dr Baidoo-Ansah said they quickly prepared a team and moved her from the labour ward to the theatre and all was done with such swiftness as they had to be well protected in full personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as ensure that they moved in real time to save both mother and baby.

“There was no time to waste as we immediately had to switch from the labour ward to the theatre for the surgical procedure.

“Being in the full PPE slows movement down a bit, but at that moment, there was no time to waste,” he said.

Dr Baidoo-Ansah said the joyous moment came after the team successfully performed the Caesarean section, which saw the delivery of a bouncy baby girl.

“The team usually commend one another for a good job done after each successful procedure, but this one was special and, instinctly, we all clapped to welcome the baby when she let out a cry, like every baby does once it was delivered.”

Proud achievement

Asked if it was a difficult moment for them to get that close to a known person with COVID-19, he said: “Yes, this is because this is a patient who has reported to our facility and we have been taking care of her for weeks before the day of delivery.

“We went into the process, fully prepared and well dressed and took extra precaution because we knew the risks were higher and the decision to go to theatre was also not an easy one as it took a lot of courage on the part of each member of the team to decide we took the risk,” he recalled.

He indicated that both the labour ward and the theatre were immediately disinfected by the cleaners to ensure that they were safe for usage.

He said as a medical superintendent in charge of the facility, he was very proud of the team that took the risk, saying, “we resolved, let’s do this and we did it. At that moment, the woman needed help and we had no option but to do it.”

“I must commend the team, from the professionals to the cleaners. Each one played his or her role well and I can report that the mother and the baby are doing well,” he added.

Asked if members of the team after the successful delivery were tested to ensure that they were not infected, the Medical Superintendent said smiling, “we are all safe, it was a call to duty, as a medical team, we test ourselves from time to time; I must say we are all safe.”

Mother progressing

Dr Baidoo-Ansah indicated that the mother was back at the isolation centre and was being given the needed care under all the prescribed protocols.

Knowing very well what was before them, the team took necessary precautions to ensure that they stayed safe before, during and after the procedure.

The medical team gave an assurance that there would be no mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19 since there were protocols to follow to ensure both were safe.

The mother, who has shown signs of recovery, will undergo the first of two post-recovery tests next week to confirm her status and progress.

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