Premature Baby
Babies born to mothers who drink heavily often require special care (Reuters) Reuters

Surgeons in Poland were forced into an emergency Caesarean operation to deliver a baby boy born with severe alcohol poisoning. The 24-year-old mother was reportedly on a drinking binge and collapsed while buying more liquor. The incident took place at a bar in the town of Tomaszow.

Local reports say the infant was born nearly 23 times over the drink-drive alcohol limit.

"The unborn baby was in severe danger of being poisoned to death," hospital spokesman Wojciech Zawalski said, adding, "When he came out, his heart was barely beating and he had 4.5g of alcohol in his blood."

The young mother is now being questioned by police and will likely face charges for endangering the life of an unborn child. A police spokesperson confirmed the matter was "under investigation".

The mother's drinking spree caused the baby to be born two weeks premature and he is now recovering in an intensive care incubator.

This is not the first time a baby has been delivered with high alcohol content in the blood.

In August 2010, a 31-year-old Polish woman gave birth to a baby with a blood alcohol level of 4.25%.

It was the woman's fourth child and on the day labour pains started, she reportedly went to a bar with her friends. It was only when they realised she was in labour that an ambulance was called.

Drinking and Pregnancy

It shouldn't be any surprise that drinking during pregnancy can have a very negative and often life-threatening impact on the development and health of an unborn baby. In addition, the consumption of alcohol during the first trimester significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, according to the National Health Service (NHS).

A cautionary statement on the NHS website reads: "When you drink, alcohol passes from your blood through the placenta and to your baby. If you drink heavily during pregnancy, your baby could develop a group of problems known as foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Children with this syndrome have: restricted growth, facial abnormalities and learning and behavioural disorders."