Pregnant Patient Survives Rare and Often Fatal Heart Condition


Doctors Deliver Baby, Operate on Mom at Same Time

Jeffrey Wolfe and Dan Weaver

AURORA - When 32-year-old Claudia Ruiz-Ruiz arrived at the emergency room of the Medical Center of Aurora at 2:30 a.m. back in May, she was having extreme chest pains.

Doctors were immediately concerned about both her life and the life of her unborn baby. She was 38 weeks pregnant.

"I was scared about my baby," Ruiz-Ruiz said.

After some tests, doctors diagnosed Ruiz-Ruiz as having a spontaneous coronary artery dissection and realized her heart was dying.

"This is a very rare case, and unfortunately, a lot of these patients will not survive," Dr. Lenny Losasso, Ruiz-Ruiz's obstetrician, said. "We had to get going because every minute really made a difference."

The hospital quickly woke up sleeping surgeons and brought in teams to perform two surgeries, an emergency cesarean to deliver the baby and a heart bypass surgery to save the mother's life. Both surgeries were performed within minutes of each other.

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