Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Life and Death

For 9 months, the mom and dad talk about and dream about their child, anticipating all the ways their life is about to change with the addition of a new life into their family.  What many don't anticipate or think much of, is the potential toll this process takes on the mom.  On the one who has carried this new life inside of her for the past 9 months, on the one who is expected to be the major care giver to this new life, not just in the first few hours, weeks and months after birth, but through the child's life.

Thankfully, around the world - most women have babies and walk away without thinking much of giving birth or doing it again.  But that isn't always true, according to the World Health Organization, in 2017, about 810 women, EACH DAY, died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.  810 each day = 295,650 each year, which is currently more than Coronavirus deaths this year.  In PNG, WHO reported that for 2017, the maternal mortality rate to be 145 women die out of 100,000 live births, which was around 340 women who died in 2017.  That is 340 babies who were born with their mom giving their life in the process.  340 babies, who may have siblings who no longer have their mother to help care and guide them as they grow up.  Maternal mortality doesn't just affect the baby born, but all the others in the family, who were already born or who won't be born as a result.

Some recent difficult deliveries have brought these numbers to light again for me.  These difficult deliveries would have certainly resulted in death, if our Hospital wasn't here, if our doors weren't open, if our lab didn't have blood to give to those bleeding, if our Operating Room didn't have staff or a surgeon who could do a Hysterectomy.  The only reason these lives were saved was because we had a team of people working hard to save their lives - at one point there was 5 doctors, 2 anesthesia guys, 2 lab folks, and 4 nurses/midwives in the room on the L working to save the life of this mom.

In 2019, we had over 2900 deliveries at our hospital, 375 were by Csection and the rest vaginal deliveries.  Each year our # of deliveries increases, which means each year we work harder to ensure that the moms who come here have a safe delivery and are able to walk out of here with their baby.  While that doesn't always happen, it usually does, and I am thankful for the team that makes it possible.  We have a number of trained midwives who handle the majority of all of our deliveries.  They call the doctor when something isn't routine, and do a great job dealing with a lot of  high risk moms.  We would be hurting without this group of dedicated men and women who do all they can to ensure moms and babies go home together.  We look forward to having Laura Myatt join us later this year or early next year.  Laura is an OB/Gyn who will be with us for 2 years through the Post Residency Program.

Pray for our moms, midwives and doctors who are doing their best each day trying to ensure good outcomes for moms and babies despite some difficult situations.