The button that saved Linda Guadalupe’s life

The mater code protocol of the Women’s Hospital in San Cristóbal de las Casas avoided the death of a woman eight days after delivering her son, who weighed 890 grams at birth

Linda Guadalupe Santiago feeds her son Benjamín in the sitting room of her home in San Cristóbal de las Casas last May 2017.

Pressing a button saved Linda’s life. Several convulsions eight days after delivering put her into a coma. The San Cristóbal de las Casas women’s hospital applied the mater code which mobilized all the staff needed to save her life. When the alarm went off, the woman was already receiving the necessary care by all teams. Three months later, Linda feeds Benjamín at home, fully recovered, while she thanks the medical team that avoided a certain death.

The mater code was implemented at the Women’s Hospital in San Cristóbal de las Casas on January 2016. This protocol consists in activating a team from different areas that immediately appear in the event of an obstetric emergency. The sound of the alarm alerts the staff. In a matter of seconds, the woman is cared for by staff from nursing, physicians, laboratory, social workers, pediatrics, gynecology, anesthesiology, internal medicine, emergencies. They saved Linda’s life last January 19, 2017. “The mater code allowed us to save this woman’s life, because all health professionals acted in time and with quality”, states Doctor Adriana Ovilla, quality manager of the Women’s Hospital in San Cristóbal de las Casas. “I had seven convulsions. I was unconscious for a week. I was practically in a coma. I don’t remember anything”, explained Linda Guadalupe Santiago from her sitting room at home. Now, it is just a memory and she thanks all physicians at the Women’s Hospital and at the Culture’s Hospital in San Cristóbal de las Casas for the work they did for her. “The neurologist keeps calling me almost every day to ask how I am. I am truly very grateful”, adds Linda Guadalupe.

Linda’s and her baby Benjamín’s story is a double success of the health staff. Her baby was also close to dying. The delivery took place before time on the thirtieth week. The medical staff was able to keep the baby in the mother’s womb for two more weeks. An efficient prenatal control afforded her this opportunity. During this time she was given medication to speed up the development of his lungs. The mother recalls that “I was very afraid because, him being so small, there were many risks”. Benjamín was born on week 32 weighing 890 grams. He was admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit. “The child had many complications. With that weight, they have few possibilities of surviving but, fortunately, Benjamín was able to pull through”, states Doctor Juan Carlos Gómez Hernández, pediatrician at the Women’s Hospital.

Three months later, mother and child went home. Benjamín weighed 1,900 grams. In May, the child’s weight had gone up to three and a half kilograms. He now plays and babbles with his mother at their home in San Cristóbal de las Casas.


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