Emergency C-Section Turns Up ... No Baby
Brazilian woman suffered from false pregnancy, referred to psychiatric care
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2013 8:15 AM CST
Updated Dec 22, 2013 11:40 AM CST

(Newser) – A bizarre story out of Brazil, where doctors performed an emergency C-section on an apparently expectant mother only to find ... no baby at all. When the woman, 37, arrived at Cabo Frio's Woman's Hospital saying she was 41 weeks pregnant and in pain—with a protruding belly and some kind of proof of prenatal care—doctors assumed she was in labor, officials revealed this week. "Because the doctors couldn't pick up the [baby's] heartbeat, they decided there wasn't time to request an ultrasound," the site's director told the Daily Mail. "They did the surgery then had the great shock of not finding any baby at all."

It turns out the woman was suffering from a false pregnancy (known as pseudocyesis) and "was so convinced she was pregnant that she altered her prenatal tests that showed otherwise because she was convinced the results were wrong," a city Health Department rep said per CBS News. And her husband says it wasn't the first time. Last year, she said she'd lost a baby at the hospital, but never showed him a death certificate. She's now been referred to psychiatric care. Oddly enough, the Dayton Daily News reports a similar case popped up at the same hospital earlier this year; a woman faked an ultrasound to get treatment despite not being pregnant, the site's director said. (More bizarre pregnancy news: A recent study found 1 in 200 women say they've had a "virgin pregnancy.")

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
Dec 22, 2013 6:51 PM CST
Another story about so many women's sick, sick mentality. I strongly suspect women like this have nothing else going for them in their lives. And I cannot help but believe this mentality would not produce a very good mother, either. It you arrange your entire life around another person, ANY other person, the both of you (or bunch of you) are going to be mentally very unhealthy.
Dec 22, 2013 11:51 AM CST
wow...the incompetence just boggles the mind...ALWAYS ALWAYS trust...but verify. had plenty of mothers come through the ER claiming one thing or another, including that they were pregnant, but were not..That is why you have pre-approved protocols. vital signs, iv access, labs (CBC, CMP, qualitative HCG, with a follow up quantitative if positive, blood type and RH, get mom on the bed, do a pelvic. check for bleeding, lochia, dilation and or effacement of the cervix, fetal monitors attached. ALL this is usually initiated on arrival and triage, prior to the doc even seeing the patient, (while paging the doc STAT).. barring any hemodynamic instability or maternal distress....if baby's heartbeat is not there...time is not THAT critical, baby is already history. Doc meant well, but jumped the gun on this one
Dec 22, 2013 11:12 AM CST
It's the invisible man!