SKIMS doctors save baby of H1N1-infected, critically ill pregnant woman

TNN Bureau. Updated: 12/29/2017 2:35:25 PM

Srinagar, Dec 29: Doctors at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) performed caesarean section (CS) on a pregnant woman who was battling for life with H1N1 influenza, and saved the life of the neonate who is now “doing well”.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to swine flu at this hospital during the past three months reached 23.

The 30-year-old woman underwent CS on Wednesday when she was on ventilator support. The woman, hailing from Srinagar, had been admitted to the ICU of the hospital for the past 10 days.
A doctor at the SKIMS, while speaking to Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity, said, “When her condition didn’t improve even after a week of treatment we decided to salvage the baby. A team of doctors performed the CS and saved the baby.”
The woman was in her ninth month of pregnancy, her first, the doctor said. She had been married for just over a year.

The newborn has been admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the hospital as he showed some “distress signs” at the time of birth. “He is doing well now,” said a doctor.
However, the young woman, doctors said was still critical. “We are trying our best to save her life. It is really sad to see such young women succumbing to influenza,” a senior doctor at the hospital said.
In October this year, a 24-year-old pregnant woman died of H1N1 influenza at the SKIMS. This woman, who hailed from Budgam, was eight months pregnant and doctors had planned to salvage her baby in case her condition did not improve. However, before they could attempt a CS, the baby had died. The mother also died soon after, said a source.
This is the second time in the past three years when doctors have helped deliver a baby of a mother suffering from influenza. In 2015, in a similar case, doctors had operated upon an influenza-afflicted woman who was on life support. Although the baby had been saved, the mother had died, said a source at the hospital.
During the past three months, 23 people have died of H1N1 influenza. During this time, samples of over 380 people have tested positive for H1N1 infection at the two labs at SKIMS Soura.
Doctors have expressed concern that people falling in the high risk group, including pregnant women, are not vaccinated against H1N1 influenza.
“Influenza in pregnancy can prove fatal. Our gynecologists need to tell this to their patients,” a senior doctor at the hospital said.
A survey published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics titled “Poor Uptake of Influenza Vaccination in Pregnancy in Northern India” had revealed that out of the “1000 women aged 18-41 years surveyed, none had been offered or received influenza vaccination”.
Another study titled “Influenza Illness in Pregnant Indian Women: A Cross-Sectional Study” with Dr Parvaiz A Koul as the lead author and published in Infectious Diseases in Gynecology and Obstetrics (2016), states “influenza viruses are a cause of significant morbidity and mortality among pregnant females with ARI in north India. As such, appropriate preventive strategies of influenza vaccination and early initiation of antiviral therapy during illness are stressed”.

Comment on this Story