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Newborn baby died as she was not able to breathe. What was the problem and what are the preventive steps?

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My name is XXXXXXX working as an Lead Enginner in XXXXXXX Communications,and i am from Andhra Pradesh.My wife had delivered to a baby girl through c-section on 23rd march 2012 and the bad luck was the baby immediately died with in was her first delivery and we were completely depressed.we dont want this condition to repeat for next deliveries.
Her LMP is 12-06-2011 and she is my fathers sister daughter

The doctor told us that the baby was not able to take breath and there was some lungs problem.they were not able to tell the exact problem;the gynic told us that when the baby came out she cried for a second and immediately stopped crying,and the heart rate went low,then they immediately called a pediatrician very closeby and they tried to pump air in the mouth and tried pressing the heart,inspite of all the efforts the baby girl was not able to survive and she immediately died and the colour of baby also changed.

What i want to know is by the above symptoms,can we tell what the problem is and what can be the preventive steps to prevent this.The delivery happended in a district headquarter called "Anantapur" which is in Andhra Pradesh.Actually till ninth month starting we had consultation in Fernandez Hospital which is in Hyderguda,Hyderabad and every test perfomed was normal till that time,so she came to her hometown for delivery.

If possible if you can suggest us some good hospitals in Hyderabad (or) Bangalore which has very good equipment and doctors,so that these situations doesn't happend again it would be great.
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 2 hours later


It's sad to note such a mishap. Following is the explanation for the same;

1. The sonography reports do suggest that child was premature even though dates show full term (dates can go wrong). Premature babies have a probability of having underdeveloped lungs, that fail to breath and can cause serious issues if not intervened in minutes. Further heavy (2.5 Kg) premature babies also may be related to sugar disturbances in mother, such instances can complicate the matter.
2. If the pediatrician had arrived late (which I hope it is not) within 10 minutes, the golden hour for resuscitation may have lapsed. Complications are higher if golden hour had elapsed.
3. Reason for Caesarian section isn't understood; maybe it was due to oligohydramnios. A Non Stress Test (NST) test before surgery would have helped to know if baby had problem inside the womb.

I understand you would have been deeply hurt by this event. My suggestion for prevention are:

1. Register for delivery at a central institute like say Apollo Hospital, which has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) attached and has a pediatric doctor available round the clock.
2. Insist for presence of one relative and also a pediatrician inside Operation Theater or labour room even before baby is born.
3. Get evaluated before next pregnancy for mother's and father's chromosomal studies.
4. Conduct fetal anomaly scan in first trimester. Blood Pressure and sugar needs to be checked regularly during pregnancy. Let mother be on folic acid and iron supplements in advance.
5. Frequent monthly Ultrasound/ doppler to check circulation/placenta will help.
6. NST whenever any issue is noted like say leaking, infection, fever , labour pains etc, will help understand distress to baby and take adequate measures if feasible.

Right now, Visit a psychological counsellor to adjust coping with depression , especially for mother.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the query. Feel free to ask any further query if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Newborn baby died as she was not able to breathe. What was the problem and what are the preventive steps? 4 hours later
For "The sonography reports do suggest that child was premature even though dates show full term (dates can go wrong)"

Her L.M.P is XXXXXXX 12th 2011.And according to her LMP EDD is 18th March.Earlier in Fernandez hospital till ninth month we had ultrasound tests performed and in that they didn't mention any symptom of premature,in the ultrasound reports they just mentioned the gestational age they didn't mention anything like "EDD by sonography" as in Doppler report[In ultrasound can we find out whether the baby is premature?,we had never performed Doppler test in the first nine months as the doctor doesn't suggest for it] We had done sugar test twice for mother [Glucose tolerance] and it was normal and the fetal anomaly scan was also performed in first trimester and in 5th month and everything was normal in that [in the fetal anomaly test performed in 5th month,it was mentioned that "Thorax and lungs appear normal"] and we had also undergone Nuchal scan test for down syndrome in which the risk was very low.

Just want to understand even as the weeks is passed why the baby is premature,request you to please explain this

What is meant by NST [Non stress test] is it to find the fetal movements,if yes then the movements was good even before the delivery happened.
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 5 hours later
Prematurity is defined by 37 completed weeks of gestation (pregnancy). As per dates the child was near term. If any USG had mentioned EDD depending on calculations from fetus head size or femur length, then only there would have been some chance for prematurity. If the mother sugar was normal then the large birth weight premature chapter should close. I had to mention prematurity as that is one of top causes by which a child lungs cant expand. the other reasons can be aspirating amniotic fluid, or blood in throat, or may be rare congenital anomaly where there would have been serious defect of lung formation.
USG can mention EDD. Doppler is indicated only when some problem is suspected, like say oligohydramnios, so need not be done routinely. Oligohydramnios is also associated with fetal kidney issues, though not a single event can be blamed 100 percent. I will not recommend you getting into extreme details of medical jargon. What you should understand that we can take extra precaution next time as i had suggested in previous reply.

Anomaly scans too can miss many such issues (like lungs normal, as in uterus lungs dont contain air), especially when they do such scan with routine USG probes (fetal scans need high resolution say 5 HZ probes- which most centers do not have). But despite given the best possible facilities its possible to have no justifiable reason if the PostMortem report is also normal.
NST was good, so that (fetal distress) wasnt the reason for emergency section.

I hope this addresses your concerns. Please accept the answer.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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