Early this morning in Los Angeles County a woman gave birth to eight babies in just five minutes, thought to be only the second time in history that live octuplets have been born.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
The mother, who has not been identified, gave birth by cesarean
section to six boys and two girls weighing between 1.8 pounds and 3.4
pounds, said doctors at Kaiser Permanante Medical Center.
"It’s a surprise," said Dr. Karen Maples. "Eight newborns are in stable condition and they’re doing quite well."
Kaiser spokeswoman Myra Suarez said she could not release any
information about the mother, including her condition or whether she
used fertility drugs.
The first live-born octuplets were born in Houston in December
1998. They were three months premature and their weights ranged from 11
ounces to 1 pound, 11 ounces. The tiniest infant died of heart and lung
failure a week after being born. The surviving siblings turned 10 in
Dr. Richard Paulson, director of the fertility program at the
University of Southern California, spoke of the risks of trying to birth all eight babies:
… if the babies were born
prematurely they may face serious health risks. The mother faces an
increased risk of hemorrhage, Paulson said.
"It’s a risky decision to try to have all eight babies," said
Paulson, who had no role in the delivery. "I would not recommend it
under any circumstances, but I respect a parent’s decision."