An American woman who is 16 weeks pregnant has been trapped in a hospital room in Malta after her fetus’s placenta was partially detached. The situation calls for medical abortion, but the island has very strict abortion laws. In the meantime, the likelihood of a woman getting infected increases, and she fears for her life more and more.
Andrea Prudente, 38, was on vacation with her partner Guy, 45, in Malta when she suddenly started bleeding. At the hospital, the couple was informed that the placenta had partially detached and that the baby would not be born alive. But because the baby’s heart is still beating, doctors are not allowed to intervene. After all, the island in the Mediterranean has very strict abortion laws.
“Only when the baby’s heart stops beating can the hospital intervene,” her husband told the BBC. “Or when Andrea has to give birth or becomes seriously ill due to an infection, that is also allowed by law.”
The couple was stuck in a hospital room for a week, waiting for a scenario. Jay fears that his wife’s situation will deteriorate at any moment. “The separation of the placenta from the uterus, with the membrane completely ruptured and the baby’s umbilical cord compressing through Andrea’s cervix, puts her at risk for infection,” he says. “A preventable infection.”
Doctors say, “The baby can’t be saved. We wanted her and still want her, but we can’t change that. Not only have we lost our daughter now, but the hospital is expanding Andrea’s exposure every day.” “This procedure could have been completed in two hours without putting Andrea at risk and giving us a chance to start grieving. Instead, this situation will be long and long.”
The couple are now looking into options for emergency medical evacuation to the UK. If the situation is identified in this way, travel insurance can step in. This is not the first time this has happened in Malta. In 2017, a French tourist was evacuated after a similar situation.