(Photo: Doreen Dotto/Wikimedia Commons)
An unborn baby's fingernail almost caused the death of its mother, according to recent reports, in a rare occurrence that happens with only a handful of pregnancies each year. The mother, however, did survive and has said that she feels "blessed" that she and her twin babies came through the emergency and survived.
Angela Cottam, from England, was rushed to a local hospital in Cheshire recently suffering from preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a medical condition that can cause high blood pressure in a pregnant mother, with a main sign being significantly increased amounts of protein in the urine. In extreme cases of preeclampsia the mother and baby's lives can be put in danger as blood pressure can raise to dangerous levels causing eclampsia or seizures.
There is no known cure for preeclampsia other than delivering the baby. Often emergency C-Sections are performed resulting in extreme premature births.
Cattam suffered from severe preeclampsia and doctors decided to deliver her twin babies even though she was only at 31 weeks - still nine weeks from her due date.
However, Cottam soon began having trouble breathing, according to News.com.au. It was soon discovered that the mother was suffering from amniotic fluid embolism.
Amniotic fluid embolism is when amniotic fluid or other material, such as hair or a fingernail, enters into the bloodstream, causing an allergic reaction which could lead to serious complications during pregnancy, according to Mayo Clinic.
Amniotic fluid embolism is rare, with just one to 12 amniotic fluid embolisms per 100,000 deliveries, according to Mayo Clinic.
It was reported that the unborn baby's fingernail caused internal bleeding and Cottam's lungs collapsed during the delivery.
The mother ended up losing seven pints of blood and was in a coma for 12 hours, and doctors were forced to provide 22 blood transfusions to save her life. However, despite the emergency Cottam and her babies survived.
The mother said afterwards, "I feel so lucky to be here and really blessed that both the girls are with us because it could have been so different."
Cottam's twins, Amelie and Ava, were born via Caesarean section and are now eight months old.
At the time of the delivery Amelie weighed 4lb 2oz while Ava weighed 4lb 10oz, according to News.com.au.
Here is a video about preeclampsia: