Miracles do happen | Daily News

Miracles do happen

The baby at the NICU of Galle Mahamodara Maternity Teaching Hospital. Pictures by Mahinda P.Liyanage, Galle Central Special Correspondent

A group of doctors performed a cesarean surgery on a dead pregnant woman at the Galle Mahamodara Maternity Teaching Hospital and saved the life of the baby.

A group of doctors and medical staff of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital saved the life of the baby whose life was at risk after the mother succumbed to head injuries in a road accident on her way to hospital for delivery to the hospital.


Dr. Madushan Weerasinghe Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist

Dr. Harsha Kalansuriya

The Daily News spoke to Dr. Madushan Weerasinghe who led the operation. Dr. Weersinghe is a post graduate degree trainee in obstetrics and gynaecology attached to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.

"On the day of the incident I was on my routine ward rounds examining patients when I got the news of the admission of a pregnant woman who had met with a road accident. With my other colleagues I rushed to the hospital’s Outdoor Patients’ Department (OPD). The pregnant woman with bleeding head injuries was on a trolley. OPD head, Dr. Samarasinghe confirmed the death of the woman owing to excessive bleeding and related complications.

"However on examining the woman I noticed that fetal movements of the baby and brought the information to the notice of Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr. Harsha Kalansuriya," Dr. Weerasinghe said.

"Thereafter on the instructions from Dr. Kalansuriya, the medical staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was informed. They also rushed to the scene. We had no time to take the victim to the operation theatre. We converted a portion of the OPD into an improvised operation theat. We carried out a cesarean surgery for the delivery of the baby. After delivery, the baby was transferred to the NICU for emergency treatment under the medical care of Dr. Janaka," he said.

"Dr. Rasani of the NICU also rendered her utmost support in the risky medical endeavour. All staff of the unit worked hard as a team in overcoming the extraordinary clinical task. It was a boy," Dr. Weerasinghe said.

The doctor said at the initial medical tests on the woman, they noticed that her womb had turned pale and when her abdomen was cut to prepare her for the delivery, there was no bleeding.

"The baby was also bluish in completion and it did not cry. The baby was fixed to the mobile incubator with a ventilator soon after delivery following artificial manual breathing at the makeshift operation theatre. The baby is safe and the ventilator apparatus has been removed," he said.

Outdoor Patients’ Department head Dr. Y.A.K. Samarasinghe also explained his experience.

He said he was attending to admitting patients at the OPD when a crowd rushed into the hospital carrying a woman.

"I first thought it was a mother with pregnancy pains. I came out of my consultancy room and saw the woman on the trolley bleeding from her head. I quickly attended to her and after a thorough examination found that she was dead," he said.

"However on close medical scrutiny I noticed that fetal movements of the baby inside the womb of the woman and I informed consultant obstetrician and gyneacologist Harsha Kalansuriya and the hospital director who too initiated speedy action to save the child. We have never experienced such a challenging medical mission in the known history of Mahamodara Maternity Teaching Hospital," Dr. Samarasinghe said.

The woman was identified as Kaluwadeva Chandrika Piyadharshani, 25 of Karnadeniya , Galle.


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