(Phoenix, Arizona, April 6, 2018)
A Utah family has become the second to deliver a set of quintuplets at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in 15 months.
“They might be tiny,” says Jamie Scott, now a mom of seven, “but they are mighty. And perfect. We are so blessed to have these children. They are our little miracles.” At a press conference Jamie said they hope to take the babies out of the hospital’s intensive care unit and home to St. George Utah in about six weeks.
After having two boys and trying for five years to get pregnant again, Jamie and Skyler Scott learned they were expecting quintuplets. Quintuplets are rare, occurring only once in several million pregnancies. Carrying higher order multiples—four or more babies—requires special care as it can be very taxing on the mother’s body and poses higher risks for both the mother and the babies.
“We said many prayers,” says Skyler. “They were answered the day we found Dr. Elliott. We had a long, personal consultation over the phone with him and felt confident Jamie could do this with his help.”
The couple relocated from their southern Utah community in December 2017 to receive care from renowned perinatologist John Elliott, MD, at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Considered a higher-order multiple pregnancy expert, Dr. Elliott has delivered 24 sets of quints and more than 108 sets of quadruplets in his 38 years as a perinatologist. Dr. Elliott is also founder and medical director of the Elliott Center for Multiples, and medical director of a joint venture between Dignity Health and Phoenix Children’s Hospital called Arizona Mother-Baby Care.
“High order multiples take special care and monitoring,” said Dr. Elliott. “Parents who move to Arizona for their pregnancy care typically arrive at about week 18. The team at St. Joseph’s is particularly well versed in handling multiples, and the NICU staff is uniquely qualified.”
Dr. Elliott’s goal is to keep the mother healthy and babies in the womb for as long as possible. Jamie had to consume 4,000 calories each day to help her babies grow strong. At 21 weeks, Jamie had a significant complication that hospitalized her at St. Joseph’s for the duration of her pregnancy. The sack around “Baby A” (now named Logan) ruptured, leaking amniotic fluid. Dr. Elliott resisted delivery at that time, as he knew there was no chance any babies would survive, although there was risk to Jamie. On admission to the hospital, Jamie’s white blood cell count was elevated suggesting an infection, which can spread to the blood and lead to sepsis. As the white blood cell count climbs, delivery becomes the accepted medical management.
“I watched closely to see what secondary confirmation there was that Jamie was developing an infection in her uterus,” added Dr. Elliott. “The biggest threat in this situation is infection in the mother. As Jamie’s white cell count reached 32,000 (three times normal), we set a threshold at which we would need to act. She never reached that threshold, and her white blood cell count started to decrease. Baby A was also tolerating the fluid loss, and then we observed his sack began to refill. To my knowledge, there has not been another case during a quintuplet pregnancy where membranes have ruptured and then resealed.”
“Our goal was 32 and a half weeks. Dr. Elliott’s goal was 34 weeks,” says Jamie. “Given that our little Logan wanted to come at 21 weeks, I am so grateful that our babies stayed put until 29 weeks. I am just amazed at how well they are all doing.”
Baby girls Lily, Violet and Daisy and baby boys Logan and Lincoln were born on March 21 between 1:27 and 1:28 a.m., all weighing less than 3 pounds. While St. Joseph’s has had a great deal of experience delivering triplets and quadruplets, the hospital delivered its first set of quintuplets in its 123-year history to Virginia couple Michael and Margaret Baudinet in Dec. 2016. Now, 15 months later, the Scott quintuplets made their world debut at 29 weeks. The national average for quintuplet delivery is less than 27 weeks.
Vinit Manuel, MD, medical director of St. Joseph’s Nursery ICU was present for the delivery and directed the team that cared for the five newborns. He said the births went smoothly because the St. Joseph’s team was highly prepared. “We had planned for weeks the logistics of getting the right clinical people to the hospital very quickly and into the OR. In total we had more than 20 doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists in Jamie’s delivery room. Each baby had a separate team ready to assist. The delivery was very fast, and a very joyful experience.”
The proud parents have gained quite the following by chronicling their journey on Facebook and Instagram pages titled Five Two Love. They have affectionately nicknamed their new bundles of joy the “Scquints.”
About the Elliott Center for Multiples
Located in Phoenix Arizona, the Elliott Center for Multiples provides mothers expecting high-order multiples with acute, specialized care.. Guided by legendary perinatologist, Dr. John Elliott, the Elliott Center combines unique, proven protocols with the most experience in the world to address the unique needs of mothers expecting quadruplets, quintuplets and more. Expectant mothers with high-order multiples who wish to be guided through a successful pregnancy arrive in Arizona at week 18 and stay until all babies come home from the hospital. The Elliott Center works closely with professionals at St. Joseph’s Hospital to provide expert care to moms and babies before, during and after birth. For more information, visit www.elliottcenter.com.
About Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Located in the heart of Phoenix, Ariz., St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is a 586-bed, not-for-profit hospital that provides a wide range of health, social and support services with special advocacy for the poor and underserved. St. Joseph’s is a nationally recognized center for quality tertiary care, medical education and research. It includes the internationally renowned Barrow Neurological Institute, the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and Norton Thoracic Institute. U.S. News & World Report routinely ranks St. Joseph’s among the best hospitals in the United States for neurology and neurosurgery. For more information please visit our website at www.dignityhealth.org/stjosephs