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Malaysian doctor assists mother in unplanned roadside delivery on East Coast Highway

A doctor’s extraordinary account of assisting a woman in giving birth on the East Coast Highway captivates readers with a tale of unexpected heroism.

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MALAYSIA: A doctor named Alif Zaki, currently on duty at Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital (HoSHAS), shared an extraordinary experience on Wednesday (18 Oct) through his X account, @alepzaki.

He detailed the event of assisting a mother in giving birth on the side of East Coast Highway KM 121, towards Kuantan, the day before (17 Oct)

According to Dr Alif, they received an emergency call notifying them about a woman experiencing severe labor pains.

The location of the incident was within a lengthy trailer parked at kilometer 121, en route to Kuantan.

“This was a unique and unexpected deviation from our routine tasks. We had very little information about the mother’s condition. As we prepared at the clinic, we meticulously double-checked our supplies, preparing for the worst,” he shared.

During the ambulance ride to the specified location, uncertainty loomed about the mother’s condition.

Dr Alif, along with his team, wondered, “Has she given birth yet? How is the baby doing?” These questions weighed heavily on their minds.

Upon reaching the location, they noticed two traffic police officers managing the flow of traffic.

The back of the lorry was wide open, revealing bloodstained clothing and an unmistakable odour.

Dr Alif immediately inquired about the mother’s whereabouts.

“She’s in the truck, at the back seat,” was the response.

Without hesitation, Dr Alif climbed onto the enormous truck, akin to Optimus Prime in size.

The mother and baby’s safety

Once inside the lorry, which felt as massive as ‘Optimus Prime,’ the male doctor observed two individuals lying down.

The mother lay there with her eyes closed, cradling a newborn in her lap. Dr Alif, concerned about the mother’s well-being, gently tried to communicate with her. He breathed a sigh of relief when she responded.

They then checked the newborn’s condition, initially worried as the child appeared motionless. However, after gently holding and nudging the baby’s feet, the sound of the infant’s cries eased their concerns.

“Initially, the baby didn’t seem to be moving. But after I touched the baby’s feet and coaxed a cry from them, my heart was greatly relieved,” Alif wrote in his update.

The subsequent steps involved Dr Alif cutting the umbilical cord, wrapping the baby in a towel, and carefully taking both mother and child out of the truck.

The medical team attended to the new mother, cleaning her and assessing any injuries.

After providing immediate care to the mother and her baby on the highway, they were swiftly transported to the maternity ward at Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Temerloh Hospital (HoSHAS).

Dr Alif expressed gratitude to all those who lent their assistance the previous evening.

“Thanks to the personnel from the East Coast Highway, traffic police, and the HoSHAS laboratory staff for their support, which made the process smoother. This is an experience I will carry with me for life,” Dr Alif acknowledged.

Notably, this was the first instance of a mother giving birth on the highway since the East Coast Highway’s inauguration eleven years ago.

Netizens laud healthcare workers’ exceptional care

The comment section of the post, which had garnered 604 thousand views, was filled with praise from ordinary citizens, commending the healthcare workers for their exemplary care of the mother and her baby.

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Early delivery: planned or unexpected?

Some inquired whether the mother in the lorry had intended to go to the hospital or had unexpectedly given birth.

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As reported in Utusan Malaysia, the mother had not intended to visit the hospital. She had accompanied her husband, and their destination wasn’t specified.

Dr Alif’s account also revealed that the mother hadn’t anticipated giving birth at that moment since her estimated due date was set for the end of the year.

Why can due dates change?

Estimated due dates play a crucial role in monitoring expectant mothers’ progress. Typically, obstetricians calculate these dates during prenatal care.

However, due dates can change due to several factors, such as an irregular menstrual cycle, the initial use of a Doppler heart rate monitor during pregnancy, having the first ultrasound in the second trimester, an above-average fundal height, or abnormal alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels.

The highest level of accuracy in estimating the due date usually occurs during the first trimester or the first twenty weeks of pregnancy.

The first ultrasound at this stage is typically the most reliable tool for determining a fetus’s gestational age.

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