Comatose woman gives birth in world first
From correspondents in Berlin
October 15, 2009 04:46am
- Woman in coma gives birth to healthy baby
- "Almost no hope" for mum after heart attack
- Baby now in home as father "away too much"
DOCTORS in Germany have hailed as extraordinary the birth of a healthy baby boy to a 40-year-old woman who had been in a coma for the last 22 weeks of her pregnancy - a world first.
"Given the mother's age ... and the completely normal state of the child, this case is extraordinary in the scientific world and very pleasing," Matthias Beckmann from the University Clinic
in Erlangen, southern Germany, said overnight.
The baby is now 18 months old.
Reuters quoted Mr Beckmann, a director at the hospital, as saying: "We wanted to keep the spectacular case secret for as long as possible to demonstrate that we're not experimenting on people and that the child is still healthy."
Only about 25 cases of brain death or coma during pregnancy have been made public since the 1970s and they tend to end in miscarriages or deformed babies, the clinic said.
But doctors said they had "almost no hope" for the mother, who suffered huge heart and brain damage after a heart attack that left her comatose.
The child is now in a home after his father decided he was unable to care for him as he had to travel often for his job.