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  • Sunday, October, 2021| Today's Market | Current Time: 08:13:30
  • Abu Dhabi : Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, (SEHA) – the UAE’s largest healthcare network, continues to elevate the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies, with Corniche Hospital, part of the SEHA network, reaching its 100th fetal blood transfusion, caring for babies while still in the mother’s womb.

    Fetal medicine provides diagnosis opportunities for unborn children with health concerns prior to delivery, and involves intervention, also known as fetal therapy, while the baby is still in the mother’s uterusto correct, treat or diminish the deleterious effects of fetal abnormalities or diseases.

    Fetal therapy can be non-invasive through the provision of medication to the mother that crosses the placenta and treats the baby, or invasive, where fetal medicine experts surgically treat the baby directly while it is still in the mother’s womb.

    One of the most common invasive fetal therapy techniques is fetal blood transfusion, which is required when a baby is anemic (low amount of healthy red blood cells). Fetal anemia occurs when the baby may not be producing red cells, possibly caused by an infection or when the red blood cells are being destroyed. It most commonly occurs when the mother’s and baby’s blood types are not compatible, and the mother has antibodies which cross the placenta and attack the baby’s red blood cells.

    Because hemoglobin carries oxygen and red blood cells are important in maintaining the normal function of the blood, fetal anemia can have several adverse effects, including cardiac complications.

    Fetal anemia may be detected during pregnancy through prenatal testing. Some tests may be routine, while others may be performed to check specifically for fetal anemia.

    At Corniche Hospital, fetal medicine specialists perform fetal blood transfusions by inserting a needle into the mother’s abdomen with ultrasound guidance to provide the fetus with necessary blood, preventing complications of anemia and providing the baby with an adequate supply of red blood cells to keep them healthy until delivery.

    Dr. Leanne Bricker, Chair of the Fetal Medicine and Imaging Department and Consultant in Fetal and Maternal Medicine, Corniche Hospital, said: “Fetal blood transfusion is rare and requires a high level of precision and expertise. The team here performs the procedure regularly, making them experienced and proficient. Today, as we mark 100 successful fetal transfusions, we celebrate a milestone that reinforces our expertise in treating unborn babies.”

    Nour SaadAllah Jabour, mother of the baby who received the 100th transfusion, said:” I am thankful to the leaders of this great nation for creating an environment where we are comforted knowing there is easy access to world-class healthcare. We were terrified when we found out that our baby would need a blood transfusion while still in my womb, but the incredible team at Corniche Hospital put all my worries to bay. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the doctors and nurses, led by Dr. Leanne Bricker.”  

    Established in 2014, Corniche Hospital’s Advanced Fetal Medicine Unit brings together foremost experts in the field. The dedicated team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals ensure a multidisciplinary and coordinated approach to intrauterine therapy and the optimal planning for delivery and neonatal care.

    Marwa, mother of the first fetal transfusion case at Corniche Hospital, said: “I thank God everyday for the medical care I received while I was pregnant with Ibrahim. Ibrahim is now 7 years old and living a healthy life, this would not have been possible without Dr. Leanne and the team at Corniche Hospital. I remember being so scared as I had two miscarriages before Ibrahim, but the medical team assured me this procedure was for the best, and when I look at Ibrahim now, I know I was right to put my trust in them.”

    Corniche Hospital is one of very few facilities in the UAE offering advanced fetal medicine, including complex procedures such as fetal blood transfusion, fetoscopic laser for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and fetal shunt procedures using advanced imaging techniques and innovative resources.

     “We receive patients from across the country and the Gulf region. By collaborating with maternal, neonatal, and pediatric experts, we provide comprehensive care that ensures the best outcomes for both mom and baby,” concluded Dr. Bricker.