Management of Prenatally Diagnosed Tracheal Obstruction: Access to the Airway in Utero Prior to Delivery
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A fetus of 23-weeks gestation presented with polyhydramnios, and was found on sonography to have a large anterior cervical teratoma. At 26 weeks the mother went into premature labor and the membranes ruptured; at this time the uterus was of 32-weeks size secondary to polyhydramnios. A cesarean section was performed through a low transverse uterine incision, and the fetal head and shoulders were delivered with the cord intact. An endotracheal tube was placed, and the cord was then divided. The baby was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit for stabilization prior to planned resection, but suffered pharyngeal hemorrhage followed by endotracheal tube dislodgement several hours after birth, and expired. Despite an unfortunate outcome, this case illustrates the feasibility and potential value of in utero airway access in cases of prenatally diagnosed tracheal obstruction.
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