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8/29/2006

Amniotic Fluid Embolism

12th August 2006, this is a very special day for me and my wife as we are ready to receive the latest member of our family. By 10:09AM, my wife has already been on Epudural for 3 hours. I was eager to meet my little new born that I bought a new camera purposely for this. My wife was equally excited but due to the effect of the epidural, she was a little drowsy. I was not sure if it was the effect of the Epidural that my wife has this twitch on her arm.

It was around 10:30AM in the morning when our doctor entered the room. He recommended an induce pregnancy. Our first born came early and we were not well prepared. With induce labour this time round, we should have all the time we needed. The doctor burst the water bag, which I understand was routine. My wife would then wait for the cervix to dilate before going into labour.

It was then when my wife first experienced the urge to volmit. It seemed normal at first, but the the situation soon got more dramatic. It was no longer the feeling of volmit, but she was blowing air out from her mouth, her lips were soft and from the way she blew the air out, it looked more like she was choking and was trying to clear her wind pipe. The nurse quickly pulled her side way for her to ease her throat while the doctor tried to confirm with my whether she has this behaviour before, which I quickly denied.

The situation quickly got more serious as she went into spasm. The nurse quickly pressed the code blue button while the doctor instructed other nurses to call for help from other doctors. More nurses rushed into the delivery room with all equipments available. I could sense that the situation was getting out of hand, by now the first doctor rushed into the scene, while my wife collapsed and passed out.

It was then that I receive a feeling of death, I suddenly has a realization that I am in the process of losing my wife and my unborn child. A sudden fear just came onto me as I have flashes of the future, I would be alone with my first born. What would I do without her? Do I have the courage to live on after witnessing the death of my wife and child? Many questions just popped into my mind during this while. "I don't want my wife to die!"

The doctor told me that they are doing all they can to resusitate my wife, they would have to give up on my child since his heart beat was dropping very fast. It was then that I was asked to leave the room. While standing outside, more doctors rushed into the room, I have lost count but I figured that there should be 7 to 8 of them. All I could do was to wait for them to do their work. What could I do. It was then that I seeked spiritual help. I started chanting " Namo Kuan si yin pu sa" the Buddhisava of Compasion, and I focussed like I have never done before. I have no idea how long I have chanted (5-10 minutes?), but at the end of my chant I requested for safety for both my wife and child.

I did not know if it was my prayer being answered or my unborn child have a strong will to live. It was then I saw the doctor started wearing the operation robe and prepared for delivery, in a short while my baby was delivered and the peadiatrician rushed him to the Neonatal ICU. It was only later that I realised that the baby has no heartbeack when he was born and he did not react to any thing. The doctor resusitated him to life.

After the birth of my child, code blue was still on and doctors were working hard to save my wife. At this time, my mother in law called me on the ceel phone, I briefed her of the situation and requested her to help burn a joss stick at the Kuan Yin's altar. It was then that I have decided to use another chant, " Namo Sa Dao Nan, Sama sambudo chu chi nan, ce li chu li jun ti hoha", the chant for wish come true. I lost track of time during this chant, but at the end of my chant I seeked for my wife and child to be safe, in exchange, I will recite the sutra every morning. It was then that the code blue was shut off.

My wife was in ICU for 2 days after that, have 14 packs of blood and plasma transfered and continued to bleed for another 1/2 a day after the end of code blue. My wife's face still looked very pale after that, I could compare it with the colour of wax paper. My son stayed in the Neonatal ICU for 3 days. It took both adult and child a week to partially recover.

Meanwhile, I took some reading on the problem, which the doctor told me was Amniotic Fluid Embolism. It happens when the Amniotic fluid or featus scraps enters the blood stream. It contaminates the blood which then causes cardiarepitory arrest, stops the heart beat and flood the lung. The lack of oxygen in the blood would then cause damage to the brain and kidney. the fatality of this issue is 61% and likely to happen when the baby is a boy. In most cases, non stop bleeding is witnessed after delivery and the mother is likely to have neurological deficit. Same goes to the baby as delivery of oxygen is greatly reduced during the event. As far as I know, there is no known cause to such event, and can happen during natural birth or even abortion.

For now I am grateful that both my wife and child is still alive. Through this event, I would cherish them even more. Amniotic Fluid Embolism is not common so far. However, the latest up date from my Gyneacologist, there has been a sudden rise recently with 3 cases in Singapore within this month ( August 2006 ), and my wife is the only one who survived the ordeal. I am grateful for the team of doctors at Gleneagle Hospital for saving my wife and child, giving me the opportunity experience a full family life.

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