Wonderful new application of KC from Mary Walters who can be reached at MWalters@Ohiohealth.com
Mary Walters is Director of Maternal Child Nursing at Grant Medical Center in Columbus OHIO
She related the following to Susie and Kathy Morgan at 9:30 p.m. on 4/30/2013. Mary said that on April 29, 2013, a mother went home with her 6th child and her story is an incredible one. The mother delivered a term infant who is doing well. Then the mother started having medical problems, severe problems that resulted in transfer to the Level 1 Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Grant Medical Center. Within 24 hours of birth she had an emergency total hysterectomy and came out of surgery on a ventilator and the prognosis was that she would die. Her family was clearly told she could not be saved and she would die. Her blood pressure would not stabilize and her heart rate was wildly tachycardic. A friend stayed with the woman throughout and took pictures every day of any event so she could track what happened to her friend.
When Mary’s follow-up of the mother revealed the “death sentence” Mary took her healthy term newborn to the unconscious mother knowing that the infant needed to be with its mother at least once. Remember the woman was unconscious, on a ventilator, near death. As soon as the infant was placed in Kangaroo Care, she moved both arms to embrace the infant. Mother was still unconscious and did not wake up. The baby stayed for two hours and went to breast. As Mary was wrapping the baby to take back to the nursery, the ICU nurse showed Mary that the mother’s BP had stabilized and dropped precipitously from its abnormal high and the mother’s heart rate had dropped too. The nurse had seen this two times before when Mary had brought infants for kangaroo care with two previous unconscious mothers on ventilators. Physiologic improvement had been seen in both of them, but this third incident was confirmation to the nurse that this was not just by chance. Mary said she would bring the baby again later in the day.
And so, two times a day, for 2-4 hours each time, the infant was brought to the still unconscious mother on a ventilator and each time she instinctually brought both arms up to embrace her infant as long as the infant was on her chest, and each time the infant went to breast and then slept. Mother’s vital signs kept improving with Kangaroo Care sessions and she was able to live, be weaned from the ventilator, and she had gone home healthy with her newborn.
Mary Walters said the ICU nurses are pleased to see such improvement and turn around in the patients and want to know more about Kangaroo Care. Mary Walters and her colleagues have completed three cases now and aregoing to write them up for publication. Hats off to Mary for helping a mother benefit and survive due to Kangaroo Care. This belongs in the papers!!!!