CONSULTANT SAVED UNBORN BABY’S LIFE BY BREAKING HER ARM.
A MOTHER has told of the dramatic moment a consultant broke her unborn baby’s arm to save her life.
Weighing a generous 10lb 15 oz, baby Poppy Screen was so big she got stuck during delivery and medics feared she would be stillborn.
But her life was saved thanks to a quick thinking consultant who snapped her limb to free her and then battled for 12 minutes to get her breathing.
Mum Lucy Screen, 26, said: ‘I think they were a bit worried when they told me they’d had to break Poppy’s arm, but I couldn’t thank them enough.
‘I was convinced we had lost her and what they did saved her life. She wouldn’t be hear today if they hadn’t broken her arm.’
Lucy is now calling for increased growth screening in the later stages of pregnancy to prevent incidents like the one that almost claimed her daughter’s life.
She says: ‘ We knew Poppy was on the big side but we didn’t know how big or I would not have risked a natural delivery.
‘She almost died, and we were warned that because she had been starved of oxygen for so long she may have suffered brain damage.
‘Thank goodness she is perfect. But we know how lucky we have been.’
Statistics show that more women in the UK than ever before are giving birth to babies weighing more than 10lbs.
The drama started on May 30th last year when Lucy was booked in for an induction at 37 weeks due to complications with her blood group.
Already parents to Rosalie, two, Lucy and husband Jonathon expected a straight- forward delivery.
She says: ‘ I’d been told the second birth is always easier because your body knows what to do.’
Her labour progressed quickly and all was well until the baby’s head was delivered.
Lucy explains: ‘ I could see people’s faces change as they tried to deliver the rest of her but they couldn’t.
‘They kept moving me around and I was pushing with all my might but it made no difference.’
Suspecting shoulder dystopia, where one or both of the baby’s shoulders gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvis, midwives called for emergency help.
The condition is most common when babies are big like Poppy and can often prove fatal.
Lucy said: ‘ Alarm bells were ringing and people were running in and out like a scene from a film. I was terrified I was losing her.’
Lucy was right to be scared. It quickly became clear that both of her daughter’s shoulders were stuck and she was being starved of oxygen.
She said: ‘ I knew we were losing her because I could see tears in the eyes of one of the midwives. I begged them to do anything to save her.’
It was then that a quick thinking consultant snapped the unborn tots arm, freeing her so she could be delivered.
Lucy recalls the moment she first saw her daughter: ‘ She was floppy and grey. I went into shock because I was sure she had died.’
But in the corner of the room medics continued CPR on the baby until finally after 12 minutes she took her first breath.
Poppy was rushed to special baby care while medics were left to explain to her parents that their baby’s arm had been broken.
Lucy said: ‘ We didn’t care at all about that. We were just so grateful that they hadn’t given up on her.’
But having been starved of oxygen for so long, the couple were warned she may have suffered brain damage.
Staff arranged to transfer the tot to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport for pioneering cooling treatment to reduce the risk of brain injury.
Lucy says: ‘I broke down when I saw her. I had no idea at that point if she would survive. She looked perfect other than a splint on her little broken arm and lots of nail marks where people had tried so hard to free her.’
They held vigil while she was cooled over the next 72 hours before finally being warmed up.
Thankfully she started to breath unaided and five days after she was born her parents held her for the first time.
Lucy said: ‘ It felt like a miracle. She had almost died but all she had to show for it was a broken arm.
‘She was by far the biggest baby in special care. All of the others were premature so people kept asking why Poppy was there because she was like a giant next to the other babies.
She was discharged after five weeks and is now a perfectly healthy eight month old.
Her grateful parents are now raising funds to provide cooling equipment in ambulances.
To donate visit http://www.justgiving.com/lucy-screen