In a tragedy arising out of breech baby complications, a baby got decapitated during delivery. The mother is reportedly fighting for her life.
The incident happened in India on 6 January 2019, in the state of Rajasthan.
Baby decapitated during delivery in hospital
A male nurse at the health centre is said to have pulled too hard during the difficult ‘feet-first’ delivery, leading to the tragedy.
He and his colleague then apparently took the baby’s torso to the mortuary, and asked the family to transfer the mother to another hospital, saying there had been a problem and she needed further treatment. The staff have been accused of hiding the real truth from the family.
When doctors later operated on the mother (to remove what they thought would be the placenta), they found the the foetus’ head still inside the womb. They immediately informed the family about the shocking discovery.
The mother,identified as Dikhsha Kanwar, is reported to be critical.
Police have now have filed a case against the nurses for causing death by negligence and for endangering life or personal safety.
A similar tragedy occurred in the UK in March 2014, when a breech baby got decapitated in the mother’s womb during delivery. The gynaecologist had decided to pursue a normal delivery in spite of the foetus being in a breech position, leading to disastrous consequences.
Breech baby complications and risks
Most babies will move into the delivery position a few weeks before birth, with the head moving closer to the birth canal.
When this fails to happen, the baby’s buttocks and/or feet will be positioned to be delivered first. This is referred to as “breech presentation.”
Around 3-4% of pregnant women at term (37–40 weeks pregnant) have a breech baby.
These are some reasons why a baby might position itself in the breech position in the womb:
- The mother has had multiple pregnancies
- There is history of premature delivery
- The mother is pregnant with multiple babies
- When the uterus has too much or too little amniotic fluid
- When there is an abnormal shaped uterus or a uterus with abnormal growths, such as fibroids
- The mother has placenta previa
What are some breech baby complications during vaginal delivery?
In ‘normal’ vaginal birth, the baby turns and lies head-down in the pelvis before delivery. Since the head is the largest part of a baby, when that comes first, the shoulders and body tend to slip right out rather easily.
With breech deliveries, the baby would come out feet or butt-first. There is a higher risk for the baby to get stuck in the birth canal.
Another potential problem is cord prolapse. In this situation, the umbilical cord is squeezed as the baby moves toward the birth canal, thus slowing the baby’s supply of oxygen and blood.
Hence it is vital that, in a vaginal breech delivery, electronic foetal monitoring be used to monitor the baby’s heartbeat throughout the course of labour.
A caesarean delivery will be advised if signs show that the baby is in distress.
A large international study published in 2000 showed that planned C-sections resulted in safer outcomes for breech babies when compared to vaginal births.
Again, according to the The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, although a trained provider can deliver a breech baby normally, C-sections are still the safest decision to make.
Also READ: What should I know if my baby is in a breech position?
(Source: Hindustan Times, American Pregnancy)