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The medical facts include that
  1. there was no chance that delaying the abortion would have save the foetus;
  2. there is a chance that the dying foetus contributed to the septicaemia;
  3. there is a chance that surgical removal of the dying foetus could lead to life-threatening complications including septicaemia;

To me it seems that 2 overwhelms 3, but that must be because I'm a heathen.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 07:25:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The (non-specialist) medical advice I received was that it is most unlikely that the foetus would have contributed to the Septicemia whilst it was still alive, but that point has been rebutted on Daily Kos (I don't seem to be able to link to specific comment there - but the comment trail isn't that long). My medical advice is in agreement with your points 1. and 3.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 08:02:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On 2: does prolonging the miscarriage process contribute to the septicaemia by weakening the woman's immune system?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 08:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I will try and get more advice on this, but we should be carefully about considering miscarriage as a disease. It is a natural process which kicks in in a significant % of pregnancies and I'm not sure it has any direct impact or taxing effect on the immune system. However the apparent fact that Savita was left in extreme discomfort and pain for several days hardly did her general health and resilience any favours. Her dilated cervix and ruptured membrane should have been the most obvious and immediate indicators of a risk of septicemia, especially in a hospital environment.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 08:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Miscarriage looks like significant physical trauma, involves pain, exhaustion, and the expulsion of a "foreign body".

E.coli infection is more likely to take hold in a weakened patient. We are exposed to pathogens more often than we fall ill from them.

So the question is not whether the E.coli came from the foetus, or whether it came form the hospital or was there before she was admitted. The question is whether allowing the natural miscarriage process to proceed for days rather than performing an abortion can tip the chances of falling to opportunistic infections.

In addition, am I mistaken that the abortion might have been performed by inducing delivery rather than by a caesarean? Does that not involve less risk of "surgical" complications?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 08:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
It is a natural process which kicks in in a significant % of pregnancies

IIRC, historically around 25%, mostly depending on how widespread syfilis is in the population. If this looks high it is mostly because a lot of these are in early stages and may not be noticed as a miscarriage.

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by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 01:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't aware of the syfilis link.

Had heard as much as one third of pregnancies - early stages.

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 04:36:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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