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Quake may have affected unborn babies: Doctors

Source: PTI
November 10, 2005 15:37 IST
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An entire generation of yet-to-be born children might be affected by the devastating October 8 earthquake in Jammu and Kashmir, fear medical experts who have noticed substantial physiological changes among expectant mothers as also a three to four fold rise in the number of abortions there.

Miscarriages and abortions are a normal phenomenon but there has been a three to four fold increase in such cases since the magnitude 7.4 temblor struck, said Dr Shahida Mir, Head of Gynaecology department at the largest Lalla Ded maternity hospital in Srinagar.

Mir said her unit at the hospital had attended around 200 cases of pregnancies since the killer earthquake out of which a large number had suffered abortions or miscarriages. "We were able to continue some of the pregnancies with specialised treatment but it is yet to be seen how successful it will be," she said.

Another leading gynaecologist, Dr Rukhsana said they had seen that aftershocks had triggered panic reaction among the people, especially women folk, which can result in increase in blood pressure and levels or hormones in the blood. These could have varying effects on the foetus ranging from mild problems to fatalities, she explained underlining the significance of maintaining extreme care to ensure that the women complete their term successfully.

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