Research Article

Life support for 10 weeks with successful fetal outcome after fatal maternal brain damage.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 27 April 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:1237
  1. J E Heikkinen,
  2. R I Rinne,
  3. S M Alahuhta,
  4. J A Lumme,
  5. M E Koivisto,
  6. P P Kirkinen,
  7. K A Sotaniemi,
  8. L S Nuutinen,
  9. P A Järvinen


    A 31 year old woman in whom subarachnoid and intracerebral haemorrhage occurred during the second trimester of pregnancy was sustained in intensive care with a respirator for 10 weeks. Computed tomography of the brain showed bilateral intraventricular haemorrhages. Because of drug resistant hypotonic episodes at 31 weeks' gestation caesarean section was performed, and a boy was delivered. The woman died of spontaneous cardiac arrest two days after caesarean section, and the boy showed normal development. Life support can be continued for several weeks in a modern intensive care unit after fatal insult to the brain even in a pregnant woman without affecting the fetus.