x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Deformed newborn prompts inquiry into mother's medication

Health authority investigating whether the birth defects were caused by medication administered to the mother during her pregnancy.

AL AIN // The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi is investigating whether the birth defects of an infant born at Tawam Hospital were caused by medication administered to the mother during her pregnancy. Raqia al Keylani was born last month without fully formed hands and feet, and missing toes on her right foot. "We are not investigating Tawam Hospital," said Rami Adwan, an investigator for the health authority said this week.

"We are investigating whether the medication administered to the mother caused the deformity or whether there was another reason for it." Doctors at the hospital reportedly told the family the deformity was hereditary. According to the Arabic newspaper Al Emarat Al Youm, the girl's father, Abduljalil al Keylani, demanded the health authority investigate the care and medication given to his wife during her pregnancy.

The mother reportedly suffered from diabetes and high cholesterol, and visited the hospital's outpatient clinic. Mr al Keylani said he brought his wife to Tawam when she was three months pregnant. He alleged that doctors administered medication to treat his wife's conditions and believes that treatment led to the deformity. He also charged that during a final check-up in her ninth month, doctors made no note of any deformities.

"It was a big surprise when Raqia was born without palms or heels and without toes on her right foot," Mr al Keylani said. "Our joy had suddenly turned into shock. "When my wife saw the baby, she had a complete nervous breakdown. The doctor who delivered her asked me if doctors had informed us that the baby was deformed, and I told him they had not." After Raqia was born, Mr al Keylani said he was told by doctors at Tawam that the deformities were hereditary.

"I told the doctors that this was impossible as there is no history of deformity in the family," he said. Mr al Keylani also said Raqia suffers from heart and breathing problems and attributed those to the medication as well. The hospital would not provide any further details. "Hospital policy prohibits commenting on any ongoing investigation," Steve Matarelli, its chief operations officer, told The National.

"We are doing our best to provide the family with answers to its questions and are co-operating fully with the health authority in its investigation." @Email:ealghalib@thenational.ae