‘Co­matose woman may not have shown signs’

DNA (Delhi) - - WORLD -

Phoenix: A doc­tor ex­am­ined an Ari­zona woman in a veg­e­ta­tive state nearly nine months be­fore she gave birth but did not find that she was preg­nant, and med­i­cal ex­perts said on Thurs­day that it’s pos­si­ble she dis­played no out­ward signs that work­ers who cared for her ev­ery day would have no­ticed ei­ther.

Po­lice are look­ing for her rapist and say it ap­pears none of the staff mem­bers at a Phoenix long-term care fa­cil­ity knew about the preg­nancy un­til the baby was born on De­cem­ber 29, a no­tion that has drawn scep­ti­cism. But the 29-year-old woman, who is de­scribed in a med­i­cal re­port as hav­ing tubes to feed her and help her breathe, may not have had a swollen belly, ac­cord­ing to a doc­tor of fe­tal medicine.

While fac­tors re­main un­known, such as how far along she was, some­one who is fed the same amount from a tube ev­ery day might not show any dra­matic changes that would be no­ticed, es­pe­cially by staffers who don’t work with preg­nant pa­tients, said Dr C Kevin Huls, a clin­i­cal as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor and ma­ter­nal-fe­tal medicine fel­low­ship di­rec­tor at the Univer­sity of Ari­zona Col­lege of Medicine-Phoenix.

The mother could ac­tu­ally lose weight in other places like her face or arms if a fe­tus is con­sum­ing nu­tri­ents, Huls added.

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