Thursday, May 11, 2006

They Called Her Amanda

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition medical providers performed an emergency Cesarean-section delivering a healthy baby girl and preserving the 22-year-old Afghan mother’s life at the Tarin Khowt Provincial Reconstruction Team clinic April 23.

“We received a phone call from a U.S. Special Forces medic saying there was a young woman who was in the late stages of her pregnancy with preeclampsia,” said Army Lt. Col. Kevin Johnson, the PRT’s chief surgeon. “They called and asked if I could treat this.”

Preeclampsia, a syndrome which may cause seizures and requires immediate delivery of a baby during the second or third trimester of pregnancy, threatened the mother’s life and the health of the unborn child, the surgeon said.

A C-section was the mother’s only option for delivery.

During the flight from Char Chineh, the woman’s condition worsened as she began having seizures. The medical team on the ground at the Tarin Kwot PRT acted quickly. Johnson credited the successful delivery of the baby girl to the actions of Army Cpt. John Murphy, a nurse anesthetist, and Army Maj. Scott Shawen, an orthopedic surgeon.

“It was a stroke of brilliance that Dr. Shawen pulled us all together right away so everyone could share what they knew,” Johnson said. “Everybody had a little bit of experience in this; none of us had a lot.”

No one at the Tarin Kowt PRT had any previous experience performing a C-section. Johnson said he used the internet to watch a short video on the surgery while waiting for a helicopter to transport the expectant mother and father to the clinic.

“It was definitely a ‘see one, do one’ operation,”
said Johnson, who used the University of Michigan’s Web site to familiarize himself with the procedure. “I must say that I was quite nervous. We started and finished delivering the baby in less than five minutes.”[snip]

Wahida and her husband, Dr. Mujieb, medical providers themselves, named their newborn, Amanda, after discussing possible names with an Army nurse, Murphy said.

“I don’t know why they chose that name, but she’ll probably be the only kid on the block named, ‘Amanda,’ here,” he said.

It's not all blood and guts out there, or at least not the kind that you expect. Read the rest.

Coalition doctors deliver Afghan baby girl at PRT

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