The team of dedicated medics at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has once again surpassed expectations and achieved a remarkable milestone in the field of foetal medicine. In an unprecedented procedure, they successfully carried out an intrauterine fetal transfusion, effectively managing to transfuse baby while still within the mother’s womb. This extraordinary achievement marks a significant step forward in healthcare services.
Intrauterine Fetal Transfusion is an exceedingly delicate procedure, requiring an exceptional level of expertise and precision. The commendable task was carried out by a team of four expert doctors at KNH, namely Dr. Rosa Chemwey, Dr. Flavia Ogutu, Dr. Ikol Adung’o, and Dr. Kunjira Murayi, an Interventional Radiologist. They were expertly assisted by nurses Mr. Benson Nyankuru and Ms. Redempata Mumo, along with Mr. Tony Wainaina, a skilled reproductive Health Clinical Officer.
For those unfamiliar with the procedure, an intrauterine transfusion involves the transfusion of red blood cells from a donor into a fetus. It’s a medical intervention often suggested when a fetus is detected to have anemia, a condition characterized by a low red blood cell count. This was the case with the 25-week-old fetus that the team was treating.
Speaking on the matter, Dr. Rosa Chemwey, who played a significant role in the procedure, said, “We are indeed very determined to ensure this particular pregnancy succeeds. We hope for positive outcomes.” She explained that the baby had severe anemia because it was ‘rhesus alloimmunized,’ a situation that arises when maternal red blood cells lacking the rhesus antigen are exposed to rhesus-positive red blood cells via the placenta. This exposure prompts the activation of the maternal immune system, causing it to attack and destroy the baby’s blood cells, leading to anemia over time.
The actual transfuse baby procedure, according to medical specialists, takes between 30 minutes to an hour. “We transfused between 80-100mls of packed red cells,” said Dr. Chemwey. “This blood is special as it is Onegative Leucoreduced, hemoconcentrated, CMV negative, and irradiated to make it very safe for the baby,” she added, explaining the uniqueness of the blood used for the transfusion.
Following the successful operation, the Kenyatta National Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Evanson Kamuri, expressed his pride in the KNH team’s accomplishment. “This is foetal medicine and an institutional landmark. We have attained yet another achievement in fulfilling our mandate as a top premier referral hospital.”
He also extended his gratitude to the team, saying, “I’d like to thank the team of doctors and those assisting them for the splendid work done. This confirms that we have the very best medics here at KNH.”
In summary, this remarkable event underscores the advancement in medical technology and expertise, particularly in the domain of fetal medicine. The successful intrauterine fetal transfusion at Kenyatta National Hospital stands as a testament to the determination, skill, and proficiency of the medical team and the strides being made in healthcare services in Kenya. The world watches with anticipation and hope as these medics continue to push boundaries, creating a brighter future for both mothers and babies.