My colleagues and I describe a tragic case in this month’s European Journal of Emergency Medicine1. Our physican-paramedic team was called to the home of a collapsed 38-week pregnant female who was in asystolic cardiac arrest. A peri-mortem caesarean delivery was performed by the physician in the patient’s home and the delivered newborn required intubation and chest compressions for bradycardia before resuming good colour and heart rate. Sadly there was ultimately a fatal outcome for both patients, but this case reminds us of the indications for this intervention and for emergency and pre-hospital physicians to be prepared to do it. A literature search yielded only one other reported prehospital case in recent medical literature2.
1.Prehospital resuscitative hysterotomy
Eur J Emerg Med. 2011 Aug;18(4):241-2
2.Out-of-hospital perimortem cesarean section
Prehosp Emerg Care. 1998 Jul-Sep;2(3):206-8