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Crisis Averted as Pregnant Mom with Rare Heart Condition Safely Delivers Her Baby

mom and baby

Jihye was 33 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with severe pulmonary hypertension and heart failure due to a previously undiagnosed hole in her heart. As she developed worsening shortness of breath and respiratory failure, she was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to support her heart and lung function due to the high risk of her going into cardiac arrest during delivery.

Jihye’s recovery, and the successful delivery of her child, relied on the involvement nearly every department on the medical campus. Some of the departments involved were critical care, ECMO, advanced lung disease, cardiac surgery, physical and occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, infectious disease, pharmacy, cardiovascular ICU nursing, interventional radiology, OB, labor and delivery, neonatal ICU, pediatrics, and pediatric cardiology.

This was the first time the team at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus had ever placed a pregnant woman on ECMO to safely deliver a baby.

Through her determination and support from her large care team, Jihye persevered and maintained a positive attitude. The Inova Fairfax Medical staff are thrilled to report that both she and her baby are now at home fully recovered.

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