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In a first, ‘En Caul’ surgery performed in Central Kashmir; ‘mermaid’ baby delivered

SRINAGAR: History was created when doctors performed a rare ‘En Caul’ surgery to deliver a 3.3 kg baby in Budgam. This was the first case of En Caul birth in the valley also known as Mermaid/ Veiled birth. Both the mother and the baby are doing well with no post-partum complications as otherwise reported in many such cases.

The cesarean was performed by a team of doctors led by Dr. Sanjeed Kawoosa at District Hospital, Budgam

What is En Caul birth?

The En Caul birth is a rare observation seen in less than one in 80,000 births. The En Caul birth is a rare event where a baby is born still inside an intact amniotic sac. The sac balloons out at birth, with the child remaining inside of the unbroken or partially broken membrane.

The amniotic sac is a thin, fluid-filled sac that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. This helps protect the fetus from injury and helps regulate temperature so they can stay warm.

The baby sits inside this sac, growing and developing as the pregnancy progresses. Typically, when you’re about to go into labor, your amniotic sac bursts.

Sometimes, women can go into labour and the sac doesn’t burst, causing the baby to be born en caul — completely inside a jelly-like bubble.

How is En Caul procedure done?

If the baby is born En Caul, the doctor will carefully and gently start to snip away at the sac to open it. Water will begin to leak out of the sac, kind of like a water-filled balloon with a hole in it.

During childbirth and right after, the baby will have everything it needs. Inside the sac, they have plenty of air and the umbilical cord attached to their belly button is filled with oxygen-rich blood.

The process after that is very similar to standard births. Most babies born with the help of a vacuum will breathe and cry when they’re born. Other babies might be a little stunned and delayed at taking their first breath, especially if they experienced distress during labor.‌

Kashmir doctors on top

Director Health Services (DHS), Kashmir, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Rather has complimented doctors for the rare surgical feat.  He expressed there is a huge talent pool available with the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir. He said doctors and paramedics rise to the occasion in challenging situations. – (TKM)

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