Baby ‘conceived’ outside womb delivered at LUTH

The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi Araba has recorded yet another medical feat with the successful delivery of an indigent woman of a baby conceived outside the womb.

40 years old Mrs. Helen Eze’s baby was growing outside the uterus but within the abdomen. She was carrying a high-risk pregnancy being her fifth, she had an intra-abdominal ectopic (outside the womb) pregnancy and she lacked funds to take care of herself; obviously, many things did not work in her favour.

Helen is one of the many Nigerian women with this kind of condition. Indeed, when expected, the news of pregnancy is always that of joy to the expectant parents. However, pregnancy is associated with many risks. Such risks are increased when the baby does not develop within the normal habitat for growth – the uterus.

Several studies have shown that although rare, the growing baby in the womb may not get implanted within the uterus and grows in the abdomen instead. This, researchers say, occurs in about one in 8,000 pregnancies and is associated with up to 90 times higher mortality compared with normal pregnancies.

Helen’s case was detected at LUTH by an expert team, who promptly diagnosed the condition and they found that the baby’s head was held between the spleen and left kidney while the legs were hanging freely in the abdomen.

The team led by a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Gbemi Osayin, approached the management of LUTH, asking for waivers for all treatment, running into hundreds of thousands of naira, to enable the team treat Helen at no cost in order to save both mother and child.

The Guardian learnt that the waiver was granted and all necessary investigations and care were given to the patient till her successful delivery of a bouncing baby boy through a Caesarian section on March 1, 2016.

Osayin said: “This is an unsual feat, possible only in the best hospitals around the world and a feather in the cap of LUTH. High level qualified personnel and investigative tools are available within the country and in this era of “change mantra”, the hard earned foreign exchange used for medical tourism can be conserved especially when such are available locally.”

The Eze’s told The Guardian that they are particularly grateful to the country and to them, going to LUTH was a good decision they took. They are full of prayers for the doctors, nurse and other support staff.

When contacted, the Chief Medial Director of LUTH, Prof Chris Bode, confirmed the story and commended the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (OBGYN) for this rare feat. He noted that “many such good deeds occur daily at the LUTH and that if our hospitals are well supported by well-meaning Nigerians and organizations, and if such resources are thoughtfully managed, our national quest for health for all at affordable cost could yet be attained.” Bode added: “LUTH is not yet the best it could be, but we are working towards it.”

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