Unexpected Birth Of Octuplets In California

January 27, 2009 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

After the seventh baby, baby G, was delivered “flawlessly” at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower, California, at 10.47 am on Monday 26

January, everybody thought that was it: but then, Dr Alejandro Vasquez, one of the medical team said, “Wait a minute, I think I feel a hand”, and one

minute later, an eighth baby, a boy identified as baby H, was delivered.

A press release said that preliminary research shows this is only the second set of octuplets ever to be born in the United States. The hospital did not

reveal any names or personal details, or say whether the mother had received fertility treatment. All 8 babies were delivered by cesarean


While delighted, the medical team were taken by surprise: it would appear that baby H “had been hiding from the ultrasound”.

The team of 46 had practised several “dry runs” to prepare for the safe delivery of what was anticipated to be seven infants. The last dry run was

minutes before the real delivery started. Altogether four operating rooms were used for the delivery and care of the infants, and there were no

unexpected hitches in the “hand-off” from the delivery team to the care team.

The first baby, a boy weighing 2 pounds 11 ounces (1.22 kilos), was delivered at 10.43 am. Altogether, six boys and two girls were delivered, the

largest weighing 3 pounds 4 ounces (1.47 kilos) and the smallest, a boy, the fifth to be born at 10.46 am, weighed 1 pound 8 ounces (0.68


Each baby cried spontaneously, said the doctors, which is always a good sign.

Dr Mandhir Gupta told CNN at a news conference on Monday evening that the babies could be in incubators for about six to eight weeks and in the

hospital for 10 weeks. They were delivered about 9 weeks before term.

He said the mother was doing well and she was “very excited” about the babies, who are “looking good so far”.

The hospital statement said the first 72 hours were expected to be the most critical.

According to the Associated Press, the world’s first live-born octuplets were born in Houston, Texas, in 1998.

One of the babies died about one week later, but the surviving siblings, 5 girls and 2 boys, celebrated their 10th birthday in December. Their mother,

Nigerian-born Nkem Chukwu, wished the new family well, “we’ll keep praying for them”, she told the AP, and had this message for the


“Just enjoy it. It’s a blessing, truly a blessing.”

Sources: Kaiser Permanente, Associated Press, CNN.

Written by: Catharine Paddock, PhD

Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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