Life support

Expectant mother, on life support at UCLA medical center, survives COVID with her pregnancy intact

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (KABC) – A pregnant Seal Beach woman survived a terrible COVID infection after UCLA doctors took extraordinary steps to save her and her unborn baby’s life.

In an interview with ABC7, Katie Pederson explained why she waited to get the shot and what she wants other moms-to-be to know.

When Pederson found out she was going to have a baby, very few pregnant women were receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

“I was going to wait until my third trimester until it was more readily available and there was more information. I felt secure in my decision – until I did. be more, ”said Pederson.

Twenty-four weeks after the start of her pregnancy, she tested positive for COVID. Her symptoms gradually worsened when she went to an Orange County emergency room for treatment.

“They admitted me, and that’s the last time I saw my husband for about three and a half weeks. I was intubated and put under anesthesia. That’s when I got thought I was going to die, ”Pederson said.

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“Once the breathing tube entered, it became pretty clear that her lungs were not going to support her,” said Dr. Peyman Benharash of UCLA Health.

Him and his cell phone ECMO the team transported Pederson to Westwood. To provide oxygen to her and her baby, the team inserted cannulas into her arteries.

“This takes the blood out of the patient and in this particular case adds blood and removes carbon dioxide and then returns the blood to the patient,” Benharash said.

Doctors said she was one of many pregnant COVID patients in need of resuscitation. During pregnancy, a woman’s immune system is suppressed so as not to attack her fetus. This makes a pregnant person very susceptible to serious illness.

“For the majority of patients, they end up having to be delivered while they are still on the ECMO machine,” said OB-GYN specialist Dr. Christina Han.

She said Pederson was one of the few circumstances where doctors were able to remove her from the heart-lung machine.

“I remember every nurse and every doctor saying, ‘Are you awake? How? And you’re still pregnant?'” Said Pederson.

She is now 35 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. But Pederson is still recovering from the mental and physical fallout from his time in intensive care. She doesn’t want another pregnant woman to wait like she did for the vaccine.

“What’s good for me is protecting my body and getting the vaccine,” Pederson said.

“We now know that these vaccines do not trigger any red flags. There is no risk of stillbirth, miscarriage or premature delivery,” Han said.

When Pederson’s son is old enough, she says, she wants to tell him, “We fought against this. You’re super strong. And we did.”

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