NEWS Dangerous Deliveries: Ebola Leaves Moms And Babies Without Care

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  1. whoosh

    whoosh Cooler King
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    Apr 15, 2009
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    For more than two decades, Lucy Barh has been helping women deliver babies. Even during Liberia's violent civil war, when other midwives left, Barh stuck around.
    But none of this prepared her for a patient she saw a few months ago.
    "I was on duty that day when the patient came in," says Barh, at the headquarters of the Liberian Midwives' Association in Monrovia. "We did the examination. She was not in labor."
    The woman didn't even seem close. So Barh sent her home and told her to return to the maternity ward when her contractions started. Barh was expecting her in a couple of days, maybe a week.
    "But to our utmost surprise, the very next day," she says, "that woman was rushed on our ward, bleeding profusely."
    The woman was in full labor. The midwives raced to deliver the baby.
    "Right after the fetus came out, that woman started bleeding from all over," Barh says. "We did everything we could, just to save her life. But even with a blood transfusion, she ended up dying."
    The baby died, too. And it was only then that Barh and her team learned the truth about the woman's medical history: Two of her relatives had died of Ebola.
    If a person can get treatment, he or she has nearly a 40 percent chance of surviving Ebola. But for a pregnant woman and her fetus, Ebola is almost a death sentence. One small study found a fatality rate around 95 percent. The woman invariably passes the virus to the fetus. And the fetus dies before labor, or it's born and dies shortly after.
    The devastation doesn't stop there.
    Both the baby and the woman's amniotic fluid are flooded with Ebola virus — and are highly infectious. :eek: :shocked:

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