'Heart stopped for 30 mins': Dubai mum, baby saved in near-death C-section

This was her second pregnancy and she had suffered from hypertension five years ago when she gave birth to twins


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Wed 29 May 2024, 5:46 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 May 2024, 11:23 PM

A 31-year old mother and her premature baby were both miraculously saved by a team of doctors at a hospital in Dubai who performed a perimortem (near-death) Caesarean section on the mother who had a near-fatal cardiac arrest.

Indian mum Maryam Mohd Kalim Siddiqui was rushed to International Modern Hospital (IMH) on Sunday (May 26) after having seizures at home due to hypertension. She was 27 weeks pregnant and her blood pressure shot up to 181/110 mmHg.

It was her second pregnancy and she also suffered from hypertension five years ago when she gave birth to twins.

A provisional diagnosis of eclampsia was made and treatment was immediately initiated at the emergency room for her seizures and convulsions.

Ten minutes after arriving at the hospital, Maryam had another seizure. She went into cardiac arrest and code blue (meaning, patient required resuscitation) was immediately initiated.

Heart stopped for half hour

“It was the most critical part of her life, and the baby's too,” Sa’adia, Maryam’s older sister, told Khaleej Times on Wednesday. “My sister had cardiac arrest and her heart stopped for more than 30 minutes,” added Sa’adia, who flew all the way from Saudi Arabia to take care of her younger sister.

Doctors at IMH continued CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for half an hour that eventually led to spontaneous circulation of blood. Maryam was given inotropes (drug for muscular contractions) to support her blood pressure. She was intubated and transferred to the ICU (intensive care unit) for post-cardiac arrest care.

Critical emergency operation

Given the critical nature of the situation and the gestational age of the fetus (27 weeks), the medical team at IMH immediately decided to perform a perimortem cesarean section to save the lives of both the mother and her unborn baby after the mother suffered a cardiac arrest.

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Perimortem C-section or surgical delivery of the fetus performed during or near the time of death of the mother is rare and very critical. The IMH medical team noted: “It has a very low success rate in saving both lives of mother and baby, with only a few documented cases worldwide.”

Miracle boy Musa

Thankfully, both mother and baby showed their strong will to survive and the medical team was successful in saving their lives.

Maryam gave birth to a miracle baby boy who was named Musa. On Monday, the mother was extubated and doctors said she recovered without any neurological deficits. She has to remain though in the ICU for a couple more days.

Baby Musa, who weighed 1.3kg at birth, also remains in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) to get round-the-clock care from doctors and nurses, Sa’adia said while praising the medical team at IMH for their care. She also thanked the employer of Nadeem, Maryam’s husband, for “following up all hospital and insurance approvals”.

IMH said: “The successful outcome of this rare and complex case highlights the importance of effective teamwork and coordination in emergency situations. Our team's prompt and coordinated efforts led to the successful saving of two lives in an exceptionally challenging scenario.”

IMH identified the medical team led by Dr. Sona Ram Jaat and members of the emergency medicine department, Dr. Anju, Dr. Rajni; as well as specialists Dr. Saad Elabbasy, Dr. Reena Riza De Guzman, Dr. Kamran Afsharian, and the nursing team composed of Salah, Koti, Maria, and Mahmoud.


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