Saturday, October 19, 2013

She Performed A Caesarean Section On Herself Using A Kitchen Knife And Hard Liquor

Inés Ramírez Pérez, a Mexican woman from the state of Oaxaca, received media attention after performing a successful Caesarean section on herself around March 2000. She had no medical training. Nevertheless, she performed a successful Caesarean section on herself; both she and her baby survived.

Ramírez was alone in her cabin in Rio Talea, Southern Mexico when her labor started. The nearest midwife was more than 50 miles away over rough terrain and rough roads. Her husband, who had assisted her through her previous labors, was drinking at a cantina. Rio Talea has 500 people and only one phone, but it was not nearby. Ramírez had given birth to eight children, seven of whom are living, at the time of the pregnancy in question. The last pregnancy, three years prior, had ended in fetal death during labor. Rather than experience the loss of another child in the same way, Ramírez decided to operate on herself.

At midnight on March 5, 2000, after 12 hours of continual pain, Ramírez sat down on a bench and drank three small glasses of hard liquor. She then used a 15 centimeter (5.9 in) kitchen knife to cut open her abdomen in a total of three attempts. Ramírez cut through her skin in a 17 centimeter (6.7 in) vertical line several centimeters to the right of her navel, starting near the bottom of the ribs and ending near the pubic area. (In comparison, a typical C-section incision is 10 cm long, horizontal and well below the navel, the so-called "bikini-line incision.") After operating on herself for an hour, she reached inside her uterus and pulled out her baby boy. She then severed the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors and became unconscious. She used clothes to bandage her wound after regaining consciousness, then sent one of her older sons to find help.

Several hours later, the village health assistant and a second man found Ramírez conscious and alert, along with her live baby. He sewed her incision with some available needle and thread.

Ramírez was eventually taken to the local clinic, which was two and a half miles away, and then to the nearest hospital, eight hours away by car. Sixteen hours later she underwent surgical repair of the incision site. On the seventh post-operative day, she underwent a second surgery to repair complications resulting from damage to her intestines incurred during her C-section. She was released from the hospital on the tenth day post-surgery, and went on to make a complete recovery.

Ramírez is believed to be the only person known to have performed a successful Caesarean section on herself. Her case was documented in the March 2004 issue of the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetric

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