On October 22, when 27-year-old Nasreen was brought to the Government General Hospital (GGH) in Telangana's Nizamabad district, it was a tense situation. A day earlier, on October 21, she had tested positive for the coronavirus in a rapid antigen test that was carried out. If that wasn’t worrying enough, because of a premature rupture of the fetal membrane, she was referred to the government hospital by a private hospital. She conceived through assisted reproductive technology (ART).
“As soon as the patient was brought to our hospital, we alerted all the departments. Doctors from the departments of obstetrics and gynaecology, anaesthetics, paediatric, general medicine etc were on high alert. The patient was carrying triplets and it was a complicated case as she was only 35 weeks pregnant and there was a premature rupture in the membrane,” explained J Thirupathi Rao, Associate Professor in general medicine, who was a coordinator in this particular case.
According to doctors, the delivery had to be carried out immediately because there was risk to the mother and the babies in the womb. On October 22, a C-section delivery was carried out and at 7:37 pm, a female baby was delivered, following which at 7:38 pm and 7:40 pm, two male babies were delivered. Though the babies were delivered on October 22, the information was shared outside only on Wednesday after the mother and the babies were discharged.
When asked if the team of doctors were anxious before the delivery, Dr Saroja, who was involved in the procedure, said, “We were not at all worried. COVID-19 is the new normal. We followed all the universal precautions. So far, we have carried out around 50 deliveries of COVID-19 patients. Dr Sudha and Dr Anupama performed the delivery. They deserve to be credited. The team’s only worry was about the complications involved in this particular case. Triplets itself is complicated and when the mother has COVID-19 symptoms, it becomes even more complicated.”
After the delivery, a COVID-19 test was carried out on the babies and the doctors heaved a sigh of relief when all three babies tested negative. As the babies were underweight, they were admitted to the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) and the mother was kept in an isolation ward as she was COVID-19 positive.
While Dr Sudha and Dr Anupama carried out the delivery, Dr Prathima Raj, the Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Saroja from the gynaecology department, Dr Kiran from the anaesthetics department, Dr K Gopal Singh from the paediatrics department, Dr Jaya from the OBG department were some of the many doctors who were part of the team. An entire host of nurses also played a major role in the delivery and in the post-delivery phase.
On November 1, another antigen test was carried out and the mother tested negative. On Wednesday, more than two weeks after being admitted, the mother and her triplets were discharged.