Crewe couple’s heartbreak over baby’s childbirth death due to incredibly rare complication – Cheshire Live
A Couple from Crewe whose baby son died during childbirth want to share their story to raise awareness and push for national changes in antenatal screening.
Aaron Koduah and Lauren Hillman live in Elm Drive in Crewe. Their son Remi died on November 22 last year from a condition called Vasa Praevia – an incredibly rare, but severe complication of pregnancy.
It occurs when some of the fetal umbilical cord blood vessels run across or very close to the internal opening of the cervix, and are at risk of rupture as they are unsupported by the umbilical cord or placental tissue.
Our 7lbs 3oz bundle of pure perfection was the victim of a rare pregnancy complication known as Vasa Praevia
Aaron and Lauren are calling for changes to antenatal screening and say their son could still be alive today if the condition was picked up before birth.
They want people to sign a petition to persuade the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to change its guidelines and make screening for Vasa Praevia part of routine practice, and needs 15,000 signatures to even be considered.
Aaron explained: “After already suffering an early miscarriage in May 2017, my partner Lauren and I were delighted to find out we were expecting our first child together, a beautiful, healthy baby boy.
“The pregnancy went smoothly and we were reassured with over 10 scans that our little one was doing great. As we approached the due date, the decision was made to induce labour at 40 weeks +1 gestation.
“To begin with, everything went well and Lauren’s waters broke on their own, however back in the induction bay she began bleeding, although nothing too dramatic.
Remi didn’t make it. Our beautiful healthy little boy was gone
“The midwives checked the baby’s heart rate which was how it should be, leading us into a false sense of security that we were on the verge of getting our happily ever after.”
As Lauren’s labour progressed so did the bleeding and there were dips in the baby’s heart rate during contractions. As it was Lauren’s first child, a decision was made to put Lauren to sleep to undergo a C-section.
Aaron added: “This is where the story gets dark. To this day we are still unsure of the exact order of events and still await the coroner to formally conclude his investigation into our son’s death, but what followed was more devastating than we could have ever possibly have imagined.
“Remi didn’t make it. Our beautiful healthy little boy was gone. What we do know is that our 7lbs 3oz bundle of pure perfection was the victim of a rare pregnancy complication known as Vasa Praevia which resulted in him facing the fight of his life from the moment he was born.”
Vasa Praevia affects around 1 in 1,200 births every year. There aren’t many symptoms of the condition before labour and because it isn’t routinely screened on the NHS, it is difficult to diagnose. In severe cases, it can lead to brain damage, organ failure, and death.
Imagine our heartache when we find out that this condition is diagnosable
In cases where Vasa Praevia is diagnosed earlier on during pregnancy, a care plan is usually put into place including a planned elective c-section. The survival rate is generally high and Aaron says that this information highlights how influential a prior labour diagnosis can be.
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He said: “In the case of Remi, if we and the hospital had known that this condition was present before being induced, then Remi would be here today where he belongs, a perfectly happy and healthy baby.
“So, imagine our heartache when we find out that this condition can and is diagnosable via a combination of both transabdominal and transvaginal colour Doppler imaging, conducted through a routine anomaly ultrasound scan at 20 weeks.
“Why does the NHS not scan for Vasa Praevia? This is the question we ask ourselves daily. Even the RCOG says that ‘the performance of ultrasound in diagnosing Vasa Praevia at the time of the routine fetal anomaly scan has a high diagnostic accuracy’ but despite this, ignore its own findings and go on to suggest that screening for Vasa Praevia is not cost effective and the benefits remain undetermined with further research being required.
Nothing we do will ever bring him back but we can help create awareness about this condition
“So while they recognize that Vasa Praevia is a silent but deadly baby killer, further research is required to determine if the number of babies dying is high enough to make routine screening for Vasa Praevia cost effective.
“We cannot save Remi. Nothing we do will ever bring him back but we can help create awareness about this condition and try, with the help of others, to change the potential outcomes. That’s why we wanted to share our story – to help us save other babies – help us create awareness and help make a difference by protecting other babies and their families.”
To sign the petition go to https://aaronkoduahuk.com
This content was originally published here.