Image: Victoria Lacatus
Florin Ardelean  /  AP
Victoria Lacatus is lifted by firefighters out of an ambulance in Bucharest, Romania, Wed., Feb.17, 2010.
updated 2/18/2010 12:04:45 PM ET 2010-02-18T17:04:45

A 25-year-old woman weighing 528 pounds (240 kilograms) gave birth to her first baby on Thursday at a hospital equipped to treat obese people.

"The baby is the fruit of the love between me and my future husband who is slimmer, weighing just 70 kilograms (154 pounds)," said Victoria Lacatus. "I wanted this child with all my heart, whatever the sacrifice," the Adevarul newspaper quoted her as saying.

The healthy baby girl, born by Caesarean section, weighed 2.9 kilograms (6.4 pounds), said Bogdan Popescu, a spokesman at Bucharest University Emergency Hospital.

Lacatus was admitted there from her village in southern Romania because the local hospital did not have any beds that could bear her weight, officials said. In Bucharest, three teams of ambulance staff and firefighters were needed to carry her into the hospital.

Popescu said Lacatus was being carefully monitored because she suffers from a thyroid problem and doctors said post-surgery complications could develop because of her morbid obesity.

Dr. Daghni Rasasingham, a spokewoman for Britain's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London said it was "increasingly common" in the past two decades for obese women of Lacatus' size to have babies. She said the Romanian woman would be at risk from clots, diabetes, post-birth bleeding and infection.

However, she added that the danger posed by the woman giving birth could only be accuarately measured based on her body mass index or BMI, which is a calculation of height and weight used to measure body fat.

Lacatus said she will soon marry her 36-year-old fiance, Costica Lacatus.

Florin Costandache, who helped perform the operation, said: "It was a real challenge because she needed four times the anesthetic a normal person needs."

The chief surgeon, obstetrician Valeriu Horhoianu, said at least 10 obese women have given birth at the Bucharest hospital, but they all weighed less than 352 pounds (160 kilograms).

In August 2008, a heavier obese woman — 560-pound (255-kilogram) Leanne Salt — gave birth to triplets in Britain.

But Nicolae Cernea, a doctor from the southern city of Craiova — where Lacatus was hospitalized for a month before delivery — said her case was unique in Romania.

The country's media, which closely followed the case, seemed to agree.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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