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Woman carries dead foetus for one week

A woman stayed for more than 140 hours with a dead foetus in her womb at a hospital in Nyeri County.

It was finally removed at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, on Wednesday, some five days after she was referred from Consolata Hospital – Mathari.

Ms Nancy Wairimu lost her seven-month pregnancy on July 6, due to suspected high blood pressure and a blood disorder that required an “emergency procedure” to remove the foetus and prevent infection from the unborn baby to the mother.

However, the mission hospital could not carry out the operation as it had no “fresh frozen plasma” that was needed for Ms Wairimu’s blood, which was low on the blood clotting cells: Platelets.

Had she been taken to the theatre, she would have bled to death.


Consolata Hospital – Mathari Nursing Officer-in-Charge Marion Kinaro said: “When we did our investigation and saw that the mother had low platelets, a very rare case, and we could not take her in for surgery because she needed a transfusion of fresh frozen plasma, of which we only had one pint that we gave her, we referred her to the KNH.”

Low platelets is caused by, among other factors, severe infection also known as sepsis (blood poisoning) or an autoimmune condition, where the body defence system attacks itself.

According to Ms Wairimu’s husband, Mr Stephen Maina, 40, with whom she has a seven-year-old child, doctors gave her two pints of blood when she was admitted in the labour ward at the KNH on July 8.

He was told that his wife had an infection that needed to be cleared alongside the platelets transfusion before she could be operated on.

Ms Wairimu was wheeled into theatre at midday Wednesday for surgery to remove the foetus, which was completed a few minutes past 4pm.


Shortly afterwards, Mr Maina said: “I am very happy that they saved my wife; she is now talking and I know she will get better.”

Had Ms Wairimu not undergone the operation, she would have ended up with a pregnancy- and childbirth-related illness and injury and maternal morbidity such as a stroke or severe bleeding.

More than 500 women die in the country annually in every 100,000 live births. The women die because of birth complications, as well as lack of emergency facilities such as ICU beds — as was the case with first-time mother Ubah Ibrahim Abdi.

Ms Abdi, 24, died at the KNH three months ago after she was taken unconscious from Moyale because Marsabit County does not have an intensive care unit.