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Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 15:23 GMT
Baby born to dead mother

Baby The baby was kept alive after his mother's death


A baby boy has been born after being kept alive in the womb of his dead mother.

Doctors at Cabuenes hospital in Gijon, northern Spain delivered the baby on New Year's Eve after battling to keep it alive in the womb of a woman who has been clinically dead since mid-November.

The boy, who weighed 1.3 kilograms (2.8 pounds), was born by Caesarean section shortly after 1500 local time (1400 GMT) on Friday after 29 weeks in the mother's womb.

A hospital spokeswoman said the baby had some moderate breathing problems but doctors were confident he would live. He has been placed in an incubator.

The identity of the mother, who was aged 30, has not been released at request of her family.

Brain haemorrhage

She was certified as brain dead on 13 November, shortly after being admitted to hospital after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

A death certificate was signed for the woman after the delivery on Friday, and she was to be buried on Saturday.

News reports said her last request was that doctors should do all they could to give birth to the baby.

Dr Keri McCully, an obstetrics and gynaecology doctor at Fairfield General Hospital, Bury, said the extra few weeks in the womb were vital if the child was to stand any chance of survival.

She said: "Before 24 weeks the lungs are not sufficiently developed for a baby to survive."

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See also:
02 Nov 99 |  Health
Drive to cut maternal deaths
19 Nov 99 |  Health
The key to a successful pregnancy
19 Nov 99 |  Health
Pregnancy risks increase with age
05 Apr 99 |  Health
Baby arrives after nine month 'illness'

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