A pregnant mother almost lost her life due to her unborn baby’s fingernail. Angela Cottom suffered a life-threatening illness when when a nail or hair passed through her bloodstream from her unborn baby. According to Daily Mail on Monday, Jan. 7 Angela slipped into a coma and received 22 blood transfusions as a result of this condition.
Angela was pregnant with twins when she went into the coma. She apparently suffered from a rare condition that affects one in 80,000 births.
Originally the doctors told Angela’s husband that she may be in a coma for days and maybe even weeks. However, she was fortunate enough to wake up after only 12 hours.
Angela’s twin girls Ava and Amelie were born five weeks premature and had to be resuscitated with oxygen. However, they are both doing well despite their mother’s condition during their birth.
Angela had to receive 22 blood transfusions because she originally lost over seven pints of blood due to internal bleeding. She also suffered from collapsed lungs. The doctor’s told her family that Angela may not pull through due to the severity of her condition.
Angela Cottam is very grateful to be alive and recovering. She can now enjoy raising her twin girls with her husband Peter.
Mrs Cottam, who is married to Peter, 33, said: ‘I feel so lucky to be here and really blessed that both the girls are with us because it could have been so different. ‘There are moments when I’ve been on my own and I’ve had a little cry and thought “What if?” But I try not to dwell on that and just thank my lucky stars the doctors and midwives on duty that day recognised what was happening. Knowing that I almost died has changed my perspective on life, I’m more laid back and I am enjoying being a mum more than ever because I know we were so close to losing so much.’
Angela had a prior high risk pregnancy with her four year old daughter Olivia. She was admitted into the Countess of Chester Hospital after being diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.
Doctors had to induce Angela’s labor due to her condition. It was during that time that they realized Angela’s lungs were collapsing from a rare condition known as amniotic fluid embolism. When the fluid from the amniotic sac leaks into the mother’s bloodstream. Once the fluid began to leak it contained cells such as hair or nail particals that contaminated Angela’s bloodstream causing an allergic reaction. Doctors had to have Angela give birth by emergency caesarean section.
Once babies were born Angela began hemorrhaging and lost over seven pints of blood, which caused her to need the 22 blood transfusions.
Dr Usha Rao, the consultant obstetrician who treated Mrs Cottam, said: ‘Amniotic fluid embolism is a unique, catastrophic condition. Although we know it is more likely to occur in twin pregnancies or women who have their labour induced, they are not the direct cause. It is unpredictable, unpreventable and very rare.’
Thankfully Angela and her twins are home doing well and she continues to get stronger everyday.
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