KENYA – Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of a dedicated team of 10 medical professionals who achieved a remarkable feat in the field of medicine.

In July, these exceptional individuals successfully performed a groundbreaking procedure known as Intrauterine Fetal Transfusion, ultimately saving a precious life before it fully entered the world.

Subsequently, the procedure was followed by the safe delivery of the baby in November.

Intrauterine transfusion is a procedure in which red blood cells from a donor are injected into the fetus, may be recommended when a fetus has anaemia, characterized by a low red blood cell count.

Fetal anaemia can be caused by Rh incompatibility or viral infections, such as Parvovirus B19.

Rh incompatibility arises when the mother and fetus have different blood types; in such cases, antibodies in the mother’s blood may destroy the fetus’s blood cells.

The innovative intervention led by the surgical team, headed by Director of Surgical Services, Dr. Kennedy Odende, involved transfusing red blood cells directly into the fetus while still in the mother’s womb.

This delicate procedure was necessitated by severe anaemia in the baby due to a condition known as “rhesus alloimmunization.”

Hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn, a common cause of intrauterine death and increased neonatal morbidity, often occurs due to maternal antibody formation, with the response to the Rhesus D antigen being the most common.

Following the successful procedure, the team witnessed the safe delivery of the baby in November, marking a significant victory in the field of medicine.

At a commendation ceremony, KNH Board Chairman Samier Muravvej praised the team for their exceptional work, emphasizing the importance of fostering a spirit of innovation within the medical community.

Dr. Muravvej encouraged the team to explore and execute unique procedures that could position KNH at the forefront of global medical advancements.

As a result, he saw that the surgical team’s team spirit was unbreakable, and wanted that it would be reflected throughout the institution.

Think outside the box, dream big, bring us ideas, and let’s do things that other countries aren’t daring or even thinking of doing, and do them successfully here. I congratulate you all on this magnificent achievement, well done,” he said.

The success of the fetal transfusion procedure, lasting between 30 minutes to an hour, not only saved a precious life but also showcased Kenya’s potential in the field of medical innovation.

The expertise and dedication of the medical team at KNH became evident as they utilized advanced ultrasound technology to precisely locate the position of the fetus and the placenta.

The surgeon skillfully inserted a needle into the mother’s abdomen and, subsequently, into the umbilical vein or the fetus’s abdomen.

This remarkable achievement is a testament to the unwavering commitment of healthcare professionals to push the boundaries of medical science and positively impact patients’ lives.

Additionally, celebrating this incredible medical milestone, it is crucial to recognize and honour the dedication and expertise of the team at Kenyatta National Hospital, whose extraordinary efforts continue to inspire hope and instill confidence in the future of healthcare in Kenya.

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