Emergency operation a first in fifteen years

  • Mar. 10, 2004 11:00 a.m.

By Alex Rinfret

A team of doctors performed an emergency cesarean section at the Queen Charlotte hospital Friday evening – the first time such an operation has been done there in the past 15 years.
“It wasn’t supposed to happen but it did,” mother Jackie Andrew told the Observer Monday from Victoria. “It was scary for everybody but it ended well.”
Ms Andrew and her four-pound, eight-ounce baby boy were flown to Victoria a few hours after the birth and are now recovering at Victoria General Hospital. Ms Andrew said the baby may have to stay in Victoria for a while as he was born two months early.
The emergency operation was necessary for several reasons, including the fact that the baby was premature and was ready to come out foot first, Dr. Tracy Morton said.
An obstetrician, a pediatrician and several paramedics were flown up to help, and almost every available member of the local medical staff was called in. The hour-long operation took place in the hospital’s old operating room, which is now used as a storage room.
“It was a really exceptional event,” Dr. Morton said. “It went very smoothly… The atmosphere was incredibly joyous afterwards.”
Cesarean sections and other operations used to be performed more regularly at the Queen Charlotte hospital, but that stopped many years ago, mostly because doctors need to have a higher volume of procedures to keep their skills up, Dr. Morton said. The last time a C-section was done, 15 years ago, was also an emergency, he said.
The baby boy – who doesn’t have a name yet – was born March 5 at 7:22 pm. Father Erik Bergstrom is “tickled pink” to have a boy, Ms Andrew said. The couple already has a daughter.
She said she especially wants to thank Dr. Morton and nurse Marla Kaminski – “they were awesome, their sense of humour and their help really made a difference,” she said. The couple also thanks all the other staff involved: nurses Buffy Watson, Guia Fernandez, Elsie Wolter, Kerry Laidlaw and Corinne Davis, doctors Peter Lake and Gordon Horner, obstetrician Dr. Jennifer Muir, pediatrician Dr. Alsharafat, Mike in the lab and Lynn at x-ray.