New York woman dies after carrying stone baby for nine years
‘Unfortunately, the mother passed away due to severe malnutrition as her body could no longer absorb nutrients.’
An African lady (50) living in New York carried a calcified foetus, also known as a stone baby, compressed inside her intestines for almost a decade before it killed her.
The sad tale emerged Stateside this week after scans were released showing the deceased woman passed away due to the rare condition, caused by a miscarriage nine years previously.
'Unfortunately, the mother passed away due to severe malnutrition as her body could no longer absorb nutrients,” said a doctor, Waseem Sous, involved in the case.
The story was revealed in a medical report in the BMC Women’s Health journal this week.
Stone babies are an extremely rare occurrence, having been medically recorded fewer than 300 times.
When a baby dies during pregnancy, it is normal for the foetus to be released from the body but in certain circumstances, it can remain lodged inside, causing a mummification process to occur.
Calcification- a build-up of salts – occurs which prevents the mother from becoming infected.
Stone babies are usually the result of an ectopic pregnancy, where the foetus develops outside the womb.
In this instance, the woman died 14 months after arriving in the U.S after reportedly refusing treatment, saying she believed her condition was due to a spell that had been cast on her.
Doctors said she died from severe malnutrition, or starvation brought on by the blockage.
Dr Waseem Sous, the internal medicine expert at SUNY Upstate Medical University who reported the case, said the patient 'declined intervention due to fear of surgery and elected for symptom monitoring.'
'Unfortunately, she passed away due to severe malnutrition in the context of recurrent bowel obstruction due to the lithopedion and continued fear of seeking medical care,' he added.
In cases such as this, death eventually is caused by tissue degradation leading to cardiac arrest or cardiac arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat. Other causes include an infection, brought on by a weakened immune system.
The condition has only been recorded 290 times, with the first dating back to France in 1582.
It is thought there are many cases where a woman can have a calcified foetus remain inside their body for decades with no side affects whatsoever, leading to a lack of reporting around the issue.
An 82-year-old woman in Colombia recently attended her GP reporting a stomach bug but scans subsequently showed she was carrying a stone baby for decades.
Back in 2015, a 90-year-old woman in Chile was found to have a calcified foetus still outside her womb. The pensioner had attended a hospital in San Antonio after taking a fall.
X-rays showed she was carrying a 2kg foetus which could not be removed due to the patient’s age.
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