January 26, 2009

Octuplets born in Southern California

Mother and babies are doing well following the birth Monday of octuplets in Southern California, a doctor who helped with the delivery said.

A medical team of 46 people was involved in the delivery at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Bellflower, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported. Doctors planned in advance to deliver the babies by Caesarian section, but they were only expecting seven babies, the newspaper said -- so they were quite surprised when an eighth baby appeared.

Dr. Karen Maples said her eyes got to be the size of saucers when she saw number eight.

The orchestrated delivery went off without a hitch, Dr. Harold Henry said. The babies are all doing well and the mom is also doing well. There were no complications from the surgery to the best of my knowledge.

Henry said the delivery team executed two dry runs in advance of the surgery.

The babies, six boys and two girls, were delivered between 10:43 a.m. and 10:48 a.m. PST, the newspaper said.

The mother -- whose name was not immediately disclosed -- is expected to be discharged from the hospital in about a week. The newborns -- who weighed between 1 pound, 15 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces -- are likely to remain hospitalized for at least two months.

Dr. Richard Paulson, director of the fertility program at the USC Medical School, told the Times the birth of octuplets is unbelievably rare. Fertility experts regard such births as a serious complication, he said.

We do not ever intend to give someone octuplets.

The first known case of octuplet birth in the United States occurred in 1998 in Houston. Seven of those octuplets survive.