Case Studies

Living in a Nightmare

A Bangladeshi woman says her newborn son will be her first and last child after the epidural she received prior to his birth allegedly wore off during an emergency cesarean section.

In September, new mother Joya Ahmed aged 27, arrived at a renowned hospital in Dhaka. She received a routine epidural as she waited to deliver her son. 

But when her unborn child’s heart rate reportedly dropped to a dangerously low level, doctors prepped her for and an emergency C- section.

Joya said that the doctors did multiple checks to make sure if she was numb. With an ice-cold spray on several areas of her stomach followed by jabbing her with a needle and all was fine. She recalled that she was numb. But that quickly changed following the incision. Moments later Joya said, “I felt them actually pulling my stomach apart as they were ripping the muscles and I was in so much pain. The anesthetist was asking me if it was pain or pressure and I was saying pain but my husband said that it was just like a whisper coming out of me. They could see I was uncomfortable so they gave me more medication to try and get the pain under control but I was still in pain.”

Joya’s son was born shortly afterward but the 27-year-old lost a lot of blood during the ordeal. She was not even able to hold her son until the following day when she was stable.

Reasons for epidural failure vary but most often can be a result of incorrect primary placement, secondary migration of a catheter after correct placement and suboptimal dosing of local anesthetic drugs. But it is not clear what caused Joya’s epidural failure.

Joya says that she loves her son and she is enjoying being a mother but there is no way she is going through that all ever again. That situation was agony to her. She could feel the clamp inside her and the suction going around and she was really struggling to breath. The whole experience was absolutely terrifying and she was totally traumatized from the birth. According to Joya, it was like living in a nightmare and she is definitely not having any more children.

N.B: (Person’s original name and picture is not published to maintain confidentiality.)

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