In an instance report being shown at the Euroanaesthesia, the annual gathering of the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) in Milan, Italy (4-6 June), Croatian medics describe a 22-day-long fight for survival by an expectant COVID-19 patient (4-6 June).

The COVID unvaccinated thirty-one years old expectant mom needed a last-minute C-section referring her to be placed on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) therapy that takes over the lungs and heart function and allows them to heal.

On 16th October 2021, the expectant mom showed signs of COVID-19 and was validated on 20th October (that is 4 days after). She was hospitalized at University Hospital Split, Croatia, on 26th October for fatigue, cough, and breathing difficulty.

The expectant mother was thirty-three weeks in gestation when she came in and had no substantial underlying health challenges.

Her signs were mild initially but worsened quickly. Her breathing deteriorated shortly after her arrival, even though she was given extra oxygen.

The group of physicians who chose to intubate the expectant mother and conduct a C-section comprised of doctors from different disciplines and championed by Associate Prof. Sanda Stojanovic Stipic, a neonatologist and mother-to-child therapy and ICU specialist.

Dr. Filip Peris, a component of the group managing the expectant mother and an anesthesiologist at University Hospital Split, says, “The patient’s situation was rapidly deteriorating.”

There was a limited amount of time before the baby’s health would deteriorate too, so we created a group and debated what was most satisfactory for both mom and offspring in an attempt to save them both.

“Given the baby’s advanced gestation age and the mother’s poor health, we chose to execute a C-section.”

“Gravidness stresses human body, and birthing the child gives moms’ lungs space to recuperate without assistance.”

The newborn was a boy with a weight of 2.3kg. (5.4lbs). He was in sound health without the need for further specialist care.

The new mom was moved to the hospital’s COVID intensive care unit shortly after the Cesarean section, and her breathing was assisted with a ventilator. Regardless, her lung function ratio (P/F) was 85%, indicating that her respiratory system was severely hurt and fluid-filled. ARDS is defined as a P/F ratio of less than 100. 

The mom’s P/F dropped to 70, and she had to be referred to ECMO.

Dr. Peris adds, “The mother’s condition was critical and motorized ventilators alone would not have healed her lungs. ECMO was the last chance for her life to give her a shot a survival. In our institution, we utilize ECMO three to five times a year.

“Following 9 days on ECMO, she was removed from the machine and her lung operation increased progressively. The pair of mother and child were released from the clinic on November 17th after a 22-day fight for survival. “

Following treatment, the patient had a lot of physiotherapy in the hospital and subsequently continued the treatment at home, and she has completely recovered. Her and her son are doing well.

“Our fantastic crew of ICU nurses and anesthesiologists helped us throughout every stage of her fight,” says Dr. Peris. “Associate Prof Sanda Stojanovic Stipic’s crew effort and hard work were critical in winning this fight.”

The doctors said gestation should not be an impediment to ECMO. They claim, “Recent research suggests that ECMO survival rates are good among expectant mothers and their babies. This may be because expectant ladies are generally healthy and young.”

“The threats and gains for the kid and mother must be considered simultaneously,” says Dr. Peris. “The fetus’s evolved gestational period was considered in comparison to the mother’s quickly depreciating clinical state,” he adds.

“In medicine, it’s all about getting the timing right. The precise timing gives the patient a chance at life.”

COVID-19 shot was not given to the lady. Dr. Peris comments, “Vaccination is critical—it can save lives.”

“According to studies, babies born to mother that got COVID shots while pregnant do not suffer any adverse effects.

“I strongly advise that you have your vaccination as you can.”

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