A Brain-dead Woman Gives Birth Thanks to Czech Doctors and Nurses: Medical Breakthrough that Makes History

A woman patient declared brain-dead had spent 16 additional weeks on artificial life support machine in the Brno University Hospital before the staff performed a C-section that would deliver a baby girl into this world, making it the first ever case of its type. Title photo: Prof. MUDr. Roman Gálof, head of the case, from the Anaesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Medicine Clinic. Credit: CM.

Brno, Sep 2 (BD) – This morning the University Hospital of Brno arranged a press conference to provide detailed information on a breaking news story: a medical case that made history last week in the second largest city of the Czech Republic.

This medical breakthrough astonished the international community because of its extreme rarity. Even though approximately 20 similar cases have been recorded around the world, never has a patient declared brain-dead been kept on an artificial life support machine for such a long period of time to deliver a healthy baby. It has been 117 days since the pregnant woman was admitted into the emergency section of the Hospital due to a stroke, on 21st April 2019.

Over the course of the 117 days, the Rescue Team, including doctors, nurses, and staff from the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinic, and the Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Medicine Clinic of the Brno University Hospital managed to maintain the right conditions for full development of a fetus in utero until delivery.

According to the released information, one of the hardest things to handle, apart from the status of the mother, were frequent infections: “(They) appeared four times and required the use of targeted ATB treatment. The medications we used were carefully selected with a view to the growing fetus; teratogenic effects had to be ruled out.”

Prof. MUDr. Roman Gálof, head of the case, from the Anaesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Medicine Clinic, shared this for Brno Daily: “I think it is a very interesting case due to the longevity of the patient’s brain-dead condition and the successful ending of pregnancy after 34 weeks, the newborn girl is 2,130 kg and 42 cm.”

This case clearly belongs among medical breakthroughs on both local and international levels. It may serve as an example of what can be accomplished in such impossible circumstances. It also means a new chapter in Brno´s history and one more reason for the city to be proud.

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