A patient’s story: Emerlinda

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it took nearly that many people to bring one child into the world under life-threatening conditions at St. Michael’s Hospital.

In fact, 24 health-care specialists mobilized for Emerlinda Wania’s emergency delivery. Emerlinda was pregnant with her fourth child when she developed placenta percreta, a condition where the placenta grows through the uterus, threatening other organs such as the bladder.

A Jehovah’s Witness whose religion forbids her to have a blood transfusion, she needed a C-section, a hysterectomy and additional surgery. So she came to St. Michael’s – the only hospital in the country able to perform the complex delivery.

Dr. Andrea Lausman, a specialist in high-risk pregnancies, worried Emerlinda would start bleeding heavily and require emergency surgery, so she assembled a team of two dozen health-care specialists.

Well before the scheduled surgery, the hospital’s blood management and conservation team worked to raise her blood hemoglobin levels. They also developed a comprehensive blood management plan for the surgery, which included using a big central IV line to ensure adequate fluid replacements and clotting factors, which are accepted by many Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Emerlinda agreed to use the cell salvage process in which her own blood lost during surgery was captured, washed and recirculated in a closed loop so it never left her body.

Tiny Jerylle was born on April 1, just short of 30 weeks gestation and remained in the NICU until she was ready to leave. Both mother and daughter are doing well.

St. Michael’s is building the NICU of the future. We need your help to make it happen.

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