Dr. Garrett Lam explains how he determines when a premature delivery is necessary. Dr. Lam is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and is on staff at Banner Good Samaritan in Phoenix, Arizona.
The key thing that we deal with, with sick babies is when do we deliver them and if we have to deliver them, what are we leaving the parents with in terms of a premature baby?
The more premature the baby is, the greater their risk of having complications that may impinge upon their life and growth. For example, babies that are born at 24 to 26 weeks have a survival of, at best, about 60 to 80%, but a risk for long-term issues such as from bleeds in the brain or blindness or what we call necrotizing enterocolitis or rotten gut syndrome above to about 90% depending on how early they are born and how small they are.
So therefore, when you have a baby that has an issue that can cause trouble it’s always best to try to temporize that baby and allow to grow within mom. Moms are the best incubators in the business and they are much better than anything that we have in the nursery. So whatever we can do to keep baby in mom to grow and develop is always best.
Our team is always working at evaluating whether or not it’s better to deliver a mom or not and at some point, when the benefits of delivery outweigh the benefits of keeping a baby in mom, that’s time to get the baby out. For example, if mom is having a worsening medical problem where the baby looks like it’s just not growing anymore, at that point it’s probably better to just say, ‘we’re done’.
Well it’s always a relief to me number one, that we have been able to help a parent have a healthy baby. It is tremendously fulfilling to know that we have helped contribute to that, but I always say that my role as the doc, and I am sure I can also speak for my other partners, we are really mechanics and it’s really mom and nature and whatever higher power you want to attribute this to that really does all the work and we are just trying to help make sure that the processes can finish. So we are just here to facilitate things.
About Dr. Garrett K. Lam, M.D.:
Dr. Garrett K. Lam is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine. He received his MD from the University of Rochester, completed his residency training at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, then went to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for his fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Condition: Pregnancy, High-Risk Pregnancy, Preeclampsia
Related Terms: Cesarean Section, C-Section, Vaginal Birth, Elective C-Section, Emergency C-Section, Labor, HELLP Syndrome, Intrauterine Growth Restriction, Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension
Health Care Provider: Banner Hospital, Banner Medical Center, Banner Health, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, Banner Good Sam
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, AZ, 85006, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Maricopa County, Phoenix Metropolitan Area
Expert: Dr. Garrett K. Lam, Garrett Lam, M.D., Doctor Garrett Lam, Obstetrician Dr. Garrett Lam, Dr. Garrett Lam, OB/GYN
Expertise: High-Risk Pregnancy, Cesarean Section, C-Section, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Perinatal Care, Birthing Services, Fetal Assessment, Fetal Therapy, Fetal Intervention, Premature Babies