Vietnamese peacekeeping doctors successfully perform C-section on woman with fetal distress in South Sudan

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Vietnamese peacekeeping doctors successfully perform C-section on woman with fetal distress in South Sudan

Vietnamese peacekeeping doctors perform a C-section on a woman with fetal distress in South Sudan, January 3, 2022. Photo: Vietnamese level-2 field hospital No. 3

A group of Vietnamese doctors, who are serving the Vietnamese level-2 field hospital under the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, have successfully performed a cesarean section to save a pregnant South Sudanese woman with fetal distress and severe scoliosis, as well as her fetus.

The Vietnamese level-2 field hospital No. 3 dispatched the group of doctors to the charity hospital Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Bentiu on Monday afternoon, right after receiving the latter’s call for help over the case of a 22-year-old South Sudanese woman in the 35th week of her second pregnancy.

While the pregnant woman showed signs of labor, her baby’s head did not engage, leading to fetal distress.

After examining the patient, Lieutenant and obstetrician Tong Van Anh determined that this was a difficult case and immediately prescribed an emergency cesarean section as fetal distress could cause fetal heart failure.

The patient’s medical history of severe kyphoscoliosis, which is the sequelae of spinal tuberculosis, made the surgery more difficult as the doctors were unable to use spinal anesthesia.

The surgical team had to use the endotracheal anesthesia technique, along with a simple ventilator system.

The anesthesiologists had to keep squeezing the manual resuscitator by hand throughout the nearly-two-hour operation, after which a four-kilogram baby boy was delivered.

Doctors welcome a baby boy after a C-section on a woman with fetal distress in South Sudan, January 3, 2022. Photo: Vietnamese level 2 field hospital No. 3

Doctors welcome a baby boy after a C-section on a woman with fetal distress in South Sudan, January 3, 2022. Photo: Vietnamese level-2 field hospital No. 3

However, at that time, the baby did not cry, had weak movements, and depended on the bag valve mask.

After about 15 minutes of active neonatal resuscitation, the baby was able to cry and make his first movements.

His mother was also in a good condition.

“This is the first cesarean section where I have stood as chief surgeon in the poor conditions of a field hospital in South Sudan,” said Dr. Anh.

“I felt pitiful for the 22-year-old patient, who is short and hunched due to kyphoscoliosis, and thus motivated to save both the woman and her baby.”

Major and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Nam, head of the Department of Surgery at the Vietnamese level-2 field hospital No. 3, said that the hospital tried its best to help with the aforesaid case despite facing a shortage of human resources after a number of staff had been infected with COVID-19.

“The doctors and nurses are always determined to respond to the local hospitals’ calls for help, contributing to introducing the good image and values of Vietnamese people to international friends,” Dr. Nam added.

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