Dr. Nishma Patel is no stranger to our hospitals or sudden emergencies. As a psychiatrist in Regina General Hospital’s emergency department, and with a rich family history in healthcare, she has spent the majority of her life in and around the medical field. However, Dr. Patel and her family didn’t expect that this familiarity would suddenly be flipped upside down, placing her in the patient role during her second pregnancy.
During her first pregnancy with her daughter Naya, now 3 years old, Nishma developed Preeclampsia, a complication which results in high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system. In Nishma’s case, it was her kidneys. This led to her being induced and baby Naya being born at 37 weeks.
“Dr. Erin Kot and her team were wonderful.” Nishma recalls. “After the preeclampsia during my pregnancy with Naya, Dr. Kot and I decided extra monitoring for my second pregnancy with Diya was a good idea, just to put both of us in the safest positon possible.”
Under the watchful eye of Dr. Kot and her team, Nishma received regular checkups until, at 32 weeks, she noticed some fluid leaking. A visit to the RGH would confirm the amniotic sac around baby Diya had broken. With Nishma’s risk of hypertension and a now ruptured amniotic sac, she was admitted to the hospital for monitoring.
Thankfully, the medical team was safely able to delay labour for an additional 2 weeks before Nishma was admitted to Labor & Birth after some cramping began. After receiving a requested epidural, she told the medical team that she was feeling very heavy in her limbs and she was having trouble communicating. The baby’s heart rate had also dropped suddenly and significantly.
“It was kind of surreal after starting what seemed to be a normal delivery, then all of a sudden have complete chaos break out and not know what was happening. It was terrifying at the time.” Nishma explains. “I was extremely fortunate that my family was at the hospital, and the physicians were very capable of making such a quick decisive decision for my care.”
Within 6 minutes, Nishma was admitted to the operating room where an emergency C-section was performed to deliver Diya. During the procedure, the doctors discovered that Nishma had suffered a placental abruption which had caused the sudden drop in both her and Diya’s vitals. The detachment of the placenta meant that Diya would not have received the essential oxygen and nutrients she needed to survive, and Nishma’s health was also at risk.
Diya was born in November, 2021, at 34 weeks. She stayed for 15 days in our NICU at the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care at Regina General Hospital. Nishma also needed some extra care and was kept in our hospital for 5 days to recover from the eventful delivery.
“Without the amazing doctors and their quick thinking, my daughter and I might not be here today.” Nishma says. “Their ability to diagnose the issue quickly, and then have the capability and the equipment to treat me made all the difference. Without the support from the community and Hospitals of Regina Foundation, that would not have been possible. It really was a true team effort, and my family and I are thankful to everyone.”
“Every year, more than 4,000 babies are born in Regina, and about 500 of them need the specialized care of our NICU,” says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “It is our community’s support that allows us to continue to invest in life-saving technology and equipment for our NICU and Labour and Delivery Unit so mothers like Nishma and babies like Diya receive the best care possible, right here at home.”