Thursday, July 10, 2014

What are EXIT Procedures?

Some might say the only procedure where there is potential for 200% fatality, of both the mother and the baby, are EXIT procedures. 

EXIT procedure stands for Ex Utero Intrapartum Procedure and I will tell you-- it is amazing what they are doing to save babies lives these days.

Some babies, if they were born with their congenital malformation, would not survive birth. These might include conditions where the infant's airway is obstructed, where the abdominal contents are in the chest cavity (congenital diaphragmatic hernia), or they have a high risk tumor like a cervical teratoma.

This is really not a C-section as the surgeon does not want the uterus contracting. In fact, the mother is placed under a very deep level of anesthesia so her uterus does not contract (which is risky for the mother) until they are ready to deliver the baby after the surgery on the baby is complete. 

Once the baby is partially delivered, it's desired for them to still have placental support for oxygen and nutrients. But in case this doesn't happen the baby is always intubated prior to the procedure. Also, the infant is given an IV and pain medication and is monitored via echo and sonogram because it's hard to monitor them with conventional technology like ECG pads. 

Once the procedure is complete, the baby is then delivered. These procedures generally take place between 28 and 34 weeks. EXIT procedures shouldn't be confused with fetal surgery which could take place at 24 weeks but then the child is placed back into the womb to continue to grow. Fetal surgery might be done for something like spina bifida. 

An interesting question becomes-- can the mother consent to a procedure when she has so much invested in emotionally saving her child?

What do you think? Worthy of a fiction novel?

No comments:

Post a Comment