By Michael Cook
A Czech woman has given birth 117 days after brain death. Doctors at Brno University Hospital kept the woman alive for 17 weeks so that they could save her child. A healthy girl was delivered on August 15 by Caesarean section.
The 27-year old unnamed woman was in her 16th week of pregnancy when she was found unconscious, apparently after an epileptic fit. Shortly thereafter she was declared brain dead.
According to the hospital, this pregnancy may have set a record as the longest for a brain-dead mother. About 20 similar cases have been recorded.
After the delivery, with her husband and other family members present, the doctors disconnected the mother’s life support systems and allowed her to die.
“This has really been an extraordinary case when the whole family stood together … without their support and their interest it would never have finished this way,” Dr. Pavel Ventruba, head of gynaecology and obstetrics at the hospital, told the media.
Editor’s note. Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge where this appeared. It is reposted with permission.