Corniche Fetal Medicine successfully delivers in-utero transfused baby

ABU DHABI: The Corniche Hospital s Fetal Medicine Unit has recently delivered a baby, born after a series of successful blood transfusion treatments done for the baby while still inside the mother s womb. The successful treatment is the first of its kind for the hospital.

The Corniche Hospital has a very well established and reputed Fetal Medicine Unit for more than 7 years but has recently began to offer enhanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures not previously available in UAE.

A fetal blood transfusion is needed in rare cases where the baby suffers from severe anemia whilst still inside the mother s womb, a condition that is critical and can cause a still birth if not treated on time.

Speaking of the case, Dr. Leanne Bricker, Corniche Hospital s Chair of Fetal Medicine said, “This is a rare condition where the fetus develops anemia due to maternal red cell antibodies called Rhesus disease. The mother s antibodies cross the placenta and break down the baby s blood cells. And if the baby is not treated on time with blood transfusions, it would die.

In this particular case, the patient had already lost 2 babies due to the condition in the past with misdiagnosis and failure to deliver timely treatment. The mother was distraught at the thought of losing another baby this time too. We managed to conduct 4 blood transfusions in the womb at 26, 28, 31 and 34 weeks.

This kind of procedure to transfuse blood while the baby is still inside the mother requires a high level of expertise and care and we are extremely proud and happy that the baby was delivered safe and sound.” The patient, Marwa Badee, an Egyptian, was extremely grateful for the medical expertise, the timely care and the quality healthcare services she received at the hospital.

“I am extremely thankful to the staff of the Corniche Fetal Medicine Unit; especially to Dr. Leanne Bricker who was God sent to us. We had started to lose hope and now we cannot contain our happiness when we see our baby happy and healthy. I would like to thank the Corniche Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) doctors and staff who looked after my baby too,” she said.

“The baby was discharged after receiving another transfusion after 12 days, and has been growing into a healthy baby,” the mother added.

Commenting on the case, the Hospital s Chief Medical Office, Dr. Paul Bosio said, “Fetal medicine is not only about detecting fetal abnormalities but it is also about optimizing the outcome of every baby during pregnancy. We have always been committed to offering the most advanced services to our patients over the last 35 years and we are now endeavouring to introduce the latest, state of the art fetal medicine therapeutic procedures for our mothers and babies including fetal transfusions, laser treatments for complicated twins and in-utero shunts.” The Fetal Medicine Unit also has plans to further develop very specialized outpatient services for multiple pregnancies, baby growth restriction and premature births.

Corniche Hospital is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.