History making triplets born at the Kegalle Teaching Hospital | Sunday Observer

History making triplets born at the Kegalle Teaching Hospital

17 October, 2021

No hyperbole remains within the declaration that the fortitude that a mother naturally summons at the child birth could even be greater than the natural laws. It is popularly known that motherhood is unarguably the glorious life force which is also an act of infinite optimism.

V. Jayanthi, a 42-year-old mother of Willangammulla, Hettimulla of the Kegalle district, getting admitted to the Kegalle Teaching Hospital on September 26, 2021, for the delivery of her triplets is a steadfast classification of an indescribable feeling of pure love which exists only between a mother and her children.

Jayanthi and her husband Janaka Karunarathne were already the parents of a son and were exuberantly waiting to receive the new members into their abode. Meanwhile, Dr. Tharanga Herath, senior house officer of the hospital was on centre stage of this crucial moment when the caesarean section was done on the mother by the safe hand of Dr. Herath.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Dr. Herath said “The caesarean section of the mother had initially been planned to be done in 4 days, following her hospitalisation for the delivery. But, owing to some complications such as pain and dribbling, the doctors decided to have an urgent caesarean section which was not pre-planned. In making this special surgery a success, the assistance given to me by house officer Dr. Amaa Bandara and anaesthetist Dr. Indika Gunarathne during the surgery is of noteworthy”.

The triplets were safely born on September 26, 2021 at 10.29 a.m., and the most significance of this specific cesarean delivery is that all the three babies were born within one minute (60 seconds).

As noted by Dr. Herath the birth of these triplets at the Kegalle Teaching Hospital goes into the history book as the very first birth of this calibre in the world where the triplets were born within 60 seconds.

The triplets are healthy baby girls and weight of 1.8kg, 1.6kg and 1.1kg and currently the baby with the least weight is under the care of the Premature Baby Unit (PBU). As further added by Dr. Herath, these babies can be identical triplets, as the pregnancy was monochorionic monoamniotic.

Dr. Herath said, “We didn’t have a target to take all the three babies within the very 60 seconds itself. Due to the complications, our intention was to facilitate the delivery quickly. It was following the surgery that the midwife said that the triplets were born within the very 60 seconds”.

Dr. Herath added, “You may see that experience of managing triplet pregnancies has increased over the past few decades, notably due to assisted reproductive practices.

In the simplest term, you can say that the incidence of multiple pregnancies is currently common due to subfertility treatments”. Meanwhile, as per the statistics, given by Dr. Herath, the rate of twin pregnancies is 1 in 250, while the same with triplet and quadruplet pregnancies being 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 700,000.

Risks involved

In terms of multiple pregnancies, there involves an increased risk of complications of having multiple gestations, gestational diabetes mellitus, pregnancy induced hypertension and pre eclampsia, pre-term labour, post-partum heamorrhage and post-partum psychosis, Dr. Herath commented. Also, Dr. Herath added that timing and mode of delivery are affected by triplet gestation.

As per the triplet pregnancies, the average gestational age at delivery is 35-36 weeks and it is reported that the same has not changed over the past three decades. Also as further pointed out by Dr. Herath, albeit the vaginal delivery of triplets has been reported, it is crystal clear that the overwhelming majority is delivered by cesarean delivery predominantly due to mal presentation.

Dr. Herath made a special mention on Dr. Janaka Jayasinghe, consultant obstetrician and gynecologist who is also the head of the Gynaecology Unit for his able guidance and assistance. The role, played by Dr. Aruna Peiris, consultant neonatologist and the in charge of the PBU is also remarkable, Dr. Herath noted.

Dr. Y. M. Mihiri Priyanganie, Director, Teaching Hospital, Kegalle also owes a word of appreciation, as per Dr. Herath. He said that every employee, attached to the obstetric wards, operation theatres, premature baby unit, blood bank and laboratory gave him an immense support in this endeavour.

Sir James Paget once declared that being a doctor offers the most complete and constant union of the qualities of novelty, utility and charity which have the greatest charm for pure and active minds. Every doctor bears testimony to the above statement.

Born on January 1, 1983, Dr. Herath hails from Kurunegala and his mother Manike Walisundara is a retired principal. His father, late Wijerathna Herath was a retired public servant. Both had graduated from the University of Ceylon (Vidyalankara Campus). Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala is the alma mater of Dr. Herath and having obtained flying colours at the Advanced Level exam, he entered the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Peradeniya where he graduated. Dr. Herath expressed his indebt for all the teachers and the lecturers who taught him both at school and the University.

In retrospect, Dr. Herath said that following the completion of his internship at the General Hospital, Trincomalee, he continued working as a senior house officer both at the General Hospital, Trincomalee and the District Hospital Pulmudei. He has also worked as the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) at the MOH office, Gomarankadawala. He also had a stint as the senior house officer at Kurunegala Teaching Hospital too.