Kaohsiung mother gives birth to boy 12 weeks after miscarrying twin

12/08/2021 09:06 PM
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The baby boy who survived. Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
The baby boy who survived. Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital

Taipei, Dec. 8 (CNA) In what doctors have described as a rare and miraculous medical event, a woman carrying twins who miscarried one of the fetuses at 17 weeks gave birth to the remaining sibling 84 days later.

At a press conference Wednesday announcing the medical accomplishment, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) staff said the boy, now three months old, had weighed 1,160 grams at birth, and 4,000 grams at his last check-up.

According to the hospital, their obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) department had treated a 37-year-old woman maternity patient surnamed Liu (柳) several months ago.

The deputy chief of the hospital's OBGYN department, Tsai Ching-chang (蔡慶璋), said Liu had gone through six years of fertility treatment before becoming pregnant with twins.

Liu, who had become pregnant with fraternal twins, a boy, and a girl, through in vitro fertilization, had felt discomfort in her lower back 17 weeks into her pregnancy.

After experiencing further complications, Liu was rushed to the emergency room of Kaohsiung CGMH but sadly miscarried the female twin, Tsai said.

The hospital's OBGYN professionals then performed a cervical cerclage procedure to tighten and secure her dilated cervix, ensuring the survival of the remaining fetus.

Following the procedure, Liu was bedridden for two weeks at the hospital before being discharged and sent home 19 weeks into her pregnancy.

Dr. Cheng Hsin-hsin (鄭欣欣), head of the hospital's obstetrical unit, said Liu returned to the hospital in the 28th week of her pregnancy after developing abdominal pain and bleeding, along with complications affecting her cervix.

After a week of treatment, Liu then developed chorioamnionitis, which prompted doctors to induce the birth of the surviving twin in the 29th week of Liu’s pregnancy.

Cheng said that as the delayed birth of a second twin was a medical rarity, there weren't any standard guidelines for the hospital's obstetrical team to follow when treating Liu.

Tsai also added that it was the first time the city's CGMH obstetrical department had performed a cervical cerclage on a rare case like Liu's, with very few documented cases that they could refer to for guidance.

According to the Kaohsiung CGMH, there has only been a handful of delayed births between twins ranging from one to 152 days documented in the medical field.

The hospital went on to add that the success of Liu's son's birth 84 days following a miscarriage was nothing short of a miracle, one that was made possible thanks to the concerted efforts of Liu and the hospital's obstetrical team.

(By Hung Hsueh-kuang and James Lo)

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