Expert: Comatose woman may not have shown signs of pregnancy

Phoenix • A physician examined an Arizona woman in a vegetative state practically 9 months earlier than she gave beginning however did not discover that she was pregnant, and medical consultants stated Thursday that it’s attainable she displayed no outward signs that employees who cared for her each day would have observed both.

Police are in search of her rapist and say it seems none of the workers members at a Phoenix long-term care facility knew in regards to the pregnancy till the infant was born Dec. 29, a notion that has drawn skepticism. But the 29-year-old woman, who’s described in a medical report as having tubes to feed her and assist her breathe, may not have had a swollen stomach, based on a physician of fetal drugs.

While components stay unknown, corresponding to how far alongside she was, somebody who’s fed the identical quantity from a tube each day may not present any dramatic adjustments that will be observed, particularly by staffers who do not work with pregnant sufferers, stated Dr. C. Kevin Huls, a scientific assistant professor and maternal-fetal drugs fellowship director on the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.

The mom may truly drop pounds somewhere else like her face or arms if a fetus is consuming vitamins, Huls added.

“A good way to understand it is that really, the baby’s going to continue to grow even at the expense of the mom’s nutrition,” Huls stated. “So, her weight may not change because she’s not taking in additional calories. There may be changes to her body that are going to go undetected in a chronic care condition or at a facility like this.”

The revelation that an incapacitated woman was sexually assaulted inside a care facility has horrified advocates for individuals with disabilities and the group at massive. The supplier’s CEO resigned this week, and the state stated the middle has made security adjustments.

A physician examined the woman on April 16 and located “no change” in her well being, writing that the examination was exterior solely, based on Maricopa County Superior Court paperwork. Her mom submitted the outcomes of the bodily as half of an annual report that state legislation requires of authorized guardians.

Court paperwork point out the woman had been residing on the facility since she was 3 years outdated, native media shops reported.

Phoenix police realized of the pregnancy state of affairs once they acquired a name on Dec. 29 a couple of new child in misery on the Hacienda HealthCare facility. Officers launched a intercourse crime investigation when it was decided the mom was in a vegetative state, police spokesman Tommy Thompson stated.

“She was not in a position to give consent to any of this,” Thompson stated.

The child and the woman are recovering at an space hospital, and their situations have been not launched.

It’s attainable the woman will not have any further long-term problems from giving beginning. Women in a vegetative state after accidents or strokes have efficiently delivered infants, Huls stated.

Her household, who’re members of the San Carlos Apache tribe in southeastern Arizona, stated in a press release via their lawyer that they may take care of the infant boy.

Phoenix police, in the meantime, have not dominated out any suspects within the sexual assault. They are gathering DNA samples from the power’s male staffers and have appealed to the general public for any data.

It stays unclear to investigators if the woman was raped greater than as soon as.

“I know at least once she was sexually assaulted, which is way too many times,” Thompson stated.

The Hacienda intermediate care facility focuses on offering around-the-clock take care of infants, youngsters and younger adults with developmental disabilities or who’re “medically fragile.”

Since the beginning got here to mild, Hacienda HealthCare has applied elevated security measures, together with a couple of workers member being current throughout affected person interactions and extra scrutiny of guests.

The firm has stated it welcomes DNA testing of its male staffers and is cooperating within the investigation.

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