Pregnant woman pictured in Mariupol hospital dies with baby: NPR


First responders and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity ward that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine on Wednesday. The woman and her baby have since died.

Evgeny Maloletka/AP


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Evgeny Maloletka/AP

Pregnant woman pictured in Mariupol hospital dies with baby: NPR

First responders and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity ward that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine on Wednesday. The woman and her baby have since died.

Evgeny Maloletka/AP

After Russian forces bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol last week, images of the destroyed building and distraught evacuees made headlines around the world.

One particularly memorable photo shows a pregnant woman lying bloodied on a stretcher, being carried through the bombed-out yard by several first responders. The scene, seen as epitomizing Russia’s aggression against innocent civilians, was widely shared.

The woman and her baby have since died, the Associated Press reported Monday.

The unidentified woman suffered a crushed pelvis and a detached hip in Wednesday’s attack and was rushed to another frontline hospital.

“Realizing she was losing her baby, doctors said, she yelled at them, ‘Kill me now!'” reports the AP.

Surgeon Timur Marin told the AP that doctors delivered the baby by caesarean section but saw “no signs of life”. They were unable to save the mother’s life after more than 30 minutes of resuscitation efforts, he added.

Doctors said that at least the woman’s husband and father had come to collect her body, so she wouldn’t end up in one of the city’s mass graves.

Ukrainian officials said last week that three people, including a child, died in the attack on the maternity ward and 17 others were injured.

Another pregnant woman, famously pictured walking down the ruins of a staircase with cuts on her face and wearing pajamas, gave birth to a girl on Friday.

Ukraine’s healthcare system is under strain

More than 4,300 births have taken place in Ukraine since Russia invaded less than three weeks ago, and 80,000 Ukrainian women are expected to give birth in the next three months, according to a joint statement by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and United Nations Population Fund. .

The groups said on Sunday that oxygen and medical supplies – including those to manage pregnancy complications – were “dangerously low”.

The high-profile assault on Mariupol hospital is far from the only one of its kind, with the World Health Organization having documented 31 attacks on health care since the Russian invasion. They killed and injured civilians, destroyed facilities and ambulances and disrupted access to essential services, the groups said.

They called for an immediate end to all attacks on healthcare in Ukraine, describing attacks on vulnerable patients and dedicated healthcare workers as “an unconscionable act of cruelty”.

“The healthcare system in Ukraine is clearly under strain, and its collapse would be a disaster,” the officials wrote. “Every effort must be made to prevent this from happening… International humanitarian and human rights law must be respected, and the protection of civilians must be our top priority.”

The UN says some 596 civilians were killed and 1,067 injured between February 24 and Saturday, although it believes the actual figures are much higher. By Saturday morning, 85 children had been killed and more than 100 injured.

This story originally appeared in the morning edition live blog.


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