A baby was born yesterday by cesarean at the São João Hospital in Porto, in the north of Portugal, after almost 32 weeks of gestation of a mother who had been brain-dead for three months. The head of Neonatology of the health center, Hercília Guimarães, explained in a press conference that they decided to advance the caesarean section scheduled for this Friday because the mother presented "respiratory deterioration" last night.
The baby was born after 31 weeks and six days of gestation with 1.7 kilograms, an "adequate" weight for his gestational age, according to Guimarães, who said he was "born well". Salvador, the name given to the child, needed respiratory support at birth, although the head of Neonatology said that it is usual in babies born at 32 weeks. The hospital had decided to try to prolong the pregnancy until that point of pregnancy because it is the moment that marks the barrier between the premature and moderately premature, so it is already "a baby that generates less concern."
The mother suffered an attack of acute asthma at twelve weeks of gestation and, after a time in induced coma, went into brain death at nineteen weeks. This is the first baby born to a brain-dead mother at the São João Hospital in Oporto, a case that has been about two weeks out of the record of survival ever recorded in Portugal. In 2016, a child born to a mother who had been brain dead for fifteen weeks in the Hospital Center of Lisbon.