‘Baby that was born twice’ Top doctor on importance of second opinion. 11
This is a very important point, it underscores that so many people start to think that people are being treated by gadgets, by technology, by blinking lights. But the truth is this. It is humans who treat humans. It is people who by careful listening deduct and have the hunches about solving medical problems. Absolutely! One of my favorite stories these days. This I heard on NPR a few months ago… I was driving early in the morning to work. It was so impressive, I pulled over to the side of the road. I said, “I have to hear this story.” It is about the baby that was born twice. You heard this? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Baby that was born twice. Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, MD. This woman goes to see her obstetrician at 12 weeks, she’s gone earlier. The ultrasound technician is very quiet, so she can sense there is something wrong. After a while… (because normally they say, “Oh, healthy baby, kicking the legs, heart is beating nicely!”) …ultrasound technician is just very quiet. Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, MD. She says, “I’m going to go get the obstetrician.” The obstetrician comes and he looks at the ultrasound and says, “I’m sorry to tell you that there is a gigantic tumor at the tail of the spine. It is likely a benign tumor called sacrococcygeal teratoma, but it is the same size as the rest of the baby. The heart is beating twice as hard and half the blood supply is going to this tumor. The heart is going to conk out [collapse], baby’s not going to survive. We recommend an abortion.” Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, MD. They leave and they decide to go for a second opinion. They go to the University of Texas fetal center. There is an obstetrician there. He says, “We can try something.” Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, MD. They give permission, they take the mother to the operating room, he has a pediatric cardiologist in attendance, in anticipation, he makes an incision in the abdomen and the uterus, pulls out the baby, the head is still in the uterus, removes 90% of the teratoma. The heart goes into cardiac arrest, pediatric neonatal cardiologist administers medicines and resuscitates unborn baby. Baby survives. They put the baby back into the uterus, suture, All the amniotic fluid has drained out, they have figured out synthetic amniotic fluid. They take a syringe, inject right pH chemistry, glucose, electrolytes, no leak. After 37 weeks of pregnancy baby is born by C-section. Baby that was born twice – came out of the womb, went back, came out. Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, MD. He’s interviewed on NPR, he’s getting hundreds of calls from obstetricians all over the world, “We have never had the courage to do this! Can we come train with you? Can we watch your video?” Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, MD. He said, “Sure.” Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, MD. He’s asked, “Have you ever done it before?” He says, “Once, five years ago.” the anchor says, “What happened?” He says, “She’s a beautiful five-year-old girl, she recently performed on stage, her parents invited me, I sat in the front row with the parents. She came on stage and she did a recital” – he said, “I had tears streaming down my cheek.” With all the stem cell transplants, organ transplants, ICU care, cardiac devices – this is an amazing story in medicine! Speaking of importance of finding the right expert. Seeking second opinion but also an opinion with the right expert! Trusting that expert! It is an amazing story. Baby that was born twice!
How can patients avoid mistakes when dealing with a medical problem? Leading doctors share wisdom: