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Rare Condition Claims Mother During Childbirth, Baby Survives Miraculously

Update Date: Nov 25, 2014 11:35 PM EST

A 34-year old pregnant Colorado woman who battled a rare medical emergency chose to save her baby's life at the cost of her own.

Fox News reported Karisa Bugal's death due to Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE) a rare condition that affects 1 to 12 in 100,000 women. Bugal went into labor on November 3 and was due to deliver when her doctors noticed the heart rate of her baby had drastically dipped. Bugal then immediately chose to undergo a C-section with anesthesia and delivered a healthy baby. She however collapsed after enquiring about the baby.

9 News reported that Bugal was found to have AFE when she went into labor. The bleak survival chance in AFE was explained to her. Doctors at Medical Center of Aurora where Bugal breathed her last said the brave mother could have opted to stay awake and wait for her surgery while they administered a spinal tap. However, the delay in administering a spinal tap could have proved too late for the baby. The mother chose to do deliver her child quickly to maximize her son's survival.

AFE is a condition produces a severe allergy like reaction when the amniotic fluid, baby's hair or skin enters the mother's bloodstream. Though such maternal exposure is common during pregnancy, a reaction is uncommon. AFE often leads to cardio-respiratory failure that causes sudden death.

According to AFE foundation, the condition is so rare that it is yet to be studied properly. The physicians who treated Bugal clearly stated that there is precious little that can be done to prevent AFE given that so little is known about it.

The condition is said to involve a maternal mortality rate ranging from 40 percent to 80 percent.

Survivors of AFE may experience long-term sometimes lifelong, complications. Though AFE incidents rare, a recent case of a woman surviving after having no pulse for 45 minutes was widely reported. 

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