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AFMC doctors save anaemic foetus through blood transfusion

Written by: Staff

Pune, Apr 2: In a historic feat, the doctors of Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) have successfully carried out a blood transfusion on an 18-week-old anaemic foetus inside the mother's womb.

The team, headed by Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Colonel T K Bhattacharya and Lieutenant Colonel Devendra Arora, carried out the blood transfusion here yesterday.

The baby girl weighing 2.6 kgs was delivered later and both the mother and baby were doing well.

This was the first operation of its kind performed in the country for such a small foetus, Col Bhattacharya said.

He added that the first procedure was carried out on December 8 last year and since then, the foetus had been given six intra-uterine blood transfusions till date.

Col Bhattacharya said that Anita, the mother, had already lost a baby last year due to the same disease.

During this pregnancy, Anita was advised to undergo an abortion, but when she became aware of the centre in AFMC, she approached them.

Lt Col Arora, also of the same department, performed the difficult procedure by transfusing blood into the umbilical vein of the foetus which was only two mm in diameter under ultrasound guidance.

Mr Arora explained that Rh-isoimmunisation occurs to a Rh-negative woman who has a Rh-positive husband and, therefore, carries a Rh-positive baby in her womb. The mother forms Rh-antibodies against the Rh-positive cells that crossover into the baby and start destroying the Rh-positive blood cells of the foetus, thereby leading to severe anaemia and ultimately death.

Five such patients were being treated at the centre and 12 babies had been salvaged in the past one year by repeated intrauterine foetal blood transfusion, he said adding that the AFMC is the only recognised referral centre in the armed forces for such cases in India.


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