Mangaluru: Doctors at AJ Hospital & Research Centre saved 29-week foetus having severe anaemia with intrauterine blood transfusion. A 29-week-old foetus suffering from severe fetal anaemia was saved at AJ Hospital & Research Centre by Fetal Medicine Specialist Dr Akshit Aiyappa M J and team in Mangalore.
The specialist doctors performed the first-ever intrauterine transfusion in the city, a procedure that involves transfusing blood to the foetus inside the womb.
The mother, who is Rh-negative, had lost her second child in the womb at around seven months due to the same condition.
One of the reasons for fetal anaemia is the incompatibility between the mother and baby’s blood group, which is usually seen in pregnancies where the expectant mother is Rh negative and father being Rh positive. This can result in production of antibodies in her blood which will act against the baby’s RBCs and eventually lead to Fetal Anaemia and can consequently, result in fetal death if left untreated.
The mother came to AJ Hospital & Research Centre at 26 weeks of gestation for a routine check-up. Dr Akshit Aiyappa M J, Consultant Radiologist & Fetal Medicine Specialist at the hospital, detected early signs of fetal anaemia and advised regular follow-up scans. He also counselled the patient and her family about the possible outcomes and the required interventions to save the foetus.
During the follow up scans, it was found that the foetus was developing severe anaemia progressively and required immediate treatment. Dr Akshit Aiyappa M J and Dr Karthik Senthilvel performed intrauterine transfusion using high-quality blood according to the requirements. The foetus was given anaesthesia and the procedure lasted for an hour. The blood was specially procured by Dr Aravind, Blood Centre Officer at the hospital, and P. R. Gopalakrishna, Quality and Technical Manager.
The intrauterine transfusion was successful and the foetus showed promising signs of improvement after the procedure. At present, the mother and the foetus are doing well. Dr Akshith said that the foetus will be monitored vigilantly and that a repeat transfusion might be required after 15-20 days.
Intrauterine transfusion is a life-saving procedure that can treat Fetal anemia. It is a complex procedure that requires expertise and experience. AJ Hospital & Research Centre is one of the few hospitals in India that has the facilities and the specialists to perform this procedure.