Sunday, January 25, 2004

Team ready to deliver sextuplets



The Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio - A team of at least 33 doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, respiratory therapists and X-ray technicians has been assembled to deliver Ohio's first sextuplets by late February.

Jennifer Hanselman, 29, of nearby Cuyahoga Falls, plans to deliver at Akron General Medical Center. The babies then will be handed over to a new team of caregivers at Akron Children's Hospital.

"If you're not nervous, you're foolish," said Dr. Anand Kantak, Children's director of neonatology.

Staffers at Akron General and Children's have been meeting regularly for weeks preparing for the births.

Hanselman is in her 23rd week of pregnancy and is hospitalized on bed rest. Her doctors hope she can make it to at least 25 weeks - when each baby's chance of survival is about 50 percent - but would prefer the 90 percent survival rate for those born at 28 weeks.

"The further we get, the better it is for the babies," said Dr. Justin Lavin, Akron General's chief of maternal fetal medicine.

Akron General hopes to avoid delivery room confusion by assigning to each baby a team of two nurses and one neonatologist.

Each baby, and each team assigned to the child, will be color-coded.




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