Mon, Jan 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Emergency cervical cerclage saves the life of Japanese woman’s pre-natal baby girl

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A Japanese woman who was 22 weeks pregnant was found during a doctor’s appointment to be in critical condition from cervical incompetence, with the fetus’ foot and the amniotic sac bulging into the vagina, doctors said, adding that the fetus was saved through an emergency surgery called cervical cerclage.

The woman has lived in Taiwan for 10 years and gave birth to her first child three years ago, after taking it to full term.

In a prenatal visit with Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital obstetrician Steven Shaw (蕭勝文) — the same doctor as for her first child — an ultrasound scan showed a premature opening of the cervix.

As the condition was likely to cause a miscarriage or a premature delivery, Shaw performed a rescue cervical cerclage to save the fetus, and the patient was hospitalized for three weeks and given labor suppression treatment and medication until the delivery.

The woman gave birth to a healthy girl weighing 3,270 grams a few days before Christmas.

Symptoms of cervical incompetence can include vaginal bleeding or discharge, but this particular woman’s case showed no symptoms, Shaw said, adding that the situation was luckily discovered during the doctor’s visit.

Pregnant women with a cervical length of less than 2.5cm face a higher risk of cervical incompetence, he said, adding that a traditional transvaginal cerclage could be suggested by a doctor at about 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In related news, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said the New Guidelines on Antenatal Care for a Positive Pregnancy Experience — released by the WHO in 2016 — recommends that pregnant women have at least eight prenatal visits before giving birth.

Pregnant women in Taiwan can receive 10 government-funded prenatal visits — including one ultrasound scan, a Group B streptococcus screening and two health guidance services — the administration said, adding that it urges pregnant women to follow the recommended schedule in the HPA’s Maternal Health Booklet and get prenatal checkups regularly.

Up to 87.7 percent of pregnant women across the nation in 2016 received at least eight prenatal checkups, but only 78.7 percent of young pregnant women under 20 years old had eight or more prenatal visits, the HPA said.

Women experiencing multiple pregnancies — twins, triplets or more from a single pregnancy — should watch out for symptoms of premature delivery and make use of the prenatal visits to check the health of the mother and children, as well as consult with doctors about their concerns, the HPA said.

Expectant parents can also make use of the administration’s toll-free pregnancy hotline (0800-870-870) — the service is also provided in Vietnamese and Indonesian — or make use of the specialized Web site ( for pregnancy health information, the HPA added.

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