Community Medical Center Performs Earliest-Recorded Blood Transfusion

Dr. Bardett Fausett Performed the First Successful Blood Transfusion in Ethan at 17 Weeks

At 17 weeks old, in utero, Ethan Roach’s heart was failing. His red blood count was at 9 when it should have been somewhere between 45 and 50. The only way that he would continue to live and thrive in the womb would be by having a blood transfusion. In utero blood transfusions before 20 weeks are rare. There are only two recorded instances of them taking place successfully, and those were both done in Paris.

Community Medical Center perinatologist Dr. Bardett Fausett performed the first successful blood transfusion in Ethan at 17 weeks, giving him the much needed blood that would help him continue to grow and thrive in the womb. This is the earliest-recorded successful blood transfusion in the United States. Dr. Fausett went on to do six additional blood transfusions with Ethan by the time he was delivered by C-section at 34 weeks old. Ethan spent the next few weeks in the Community Medical Center NICU where he was cared for by the incredible staff and providers.

It was also a lot of work for the Community laboratory team to make sure that they had all the proper equipment and blood supplies on hand for a procedure that was this difficult. Hats off to them for all the work they also did behind the scenes to help ensure that Ethan would continue to grow and thrive while in the womb.

Ethan and his mother, Hannah, are doing great today thanks to all the incredible teamwork at Community and one very special perinatologist, Dr. Fausett.

Photo Credit: Tom Bauer of the Missoulian Newspaper

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