Thank goodness for the ACLU. They have taken on the case of Samantha Burton, who at 25 weeks started experiencing premature labor and was told by her doctor to remain on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. When she explained that she had two toddlers at home and would unlikely be able to achieve complete bed rest and did not want to stay in the hospital, she was court ordered by the hospital to remain on bed rest to “preserve the life and health of [her] unborn child.” Sadly, she miscarried three days later.
This article is filled with good news. I love good news. Apparently there has been an ‘unexplainable’ drop in infant mortality rates in one certain county (Dane) in Illinois over the last 20 years and they are just scratching their heads even though all the ‘evidence’ as to why is sitting right there in front of them. DUH.
One huge issue in our country is the very high infant mortality rate among African American women due to premature deliveries. Nationwide for 2007, according to the latest federal data, infant mortality was 6 per 1,000 for whites and 13 for blacks-up to 20 per 1,000 in some areas. Dane county was hovering around 19 deaths per 1,000 births back in the early 1990’s. Now it is down to 5. “The steep decline, reaching parity with whites, is particularly intriguing, experts say, because obstetrical services for low-income women in the county have not changed that much.” according to the article.
For those who are fans of full body CT scans, and mammograms and colonoscopy’s etc. you may be dismayed to learn that just this week yet another screening is being downplayed.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG) has changed their recommendations regarding PAP smears for young women. Young women should have their first Pap test no sooner than age 21, regardless of when they become sexually active and should have annual PAPs ever other year after age 21- and even up to every 3 years if no abnormality is ever detected after 3 tests.
This is a great New York Times magazine article about healthcare. Well, really it’s an article about one man (Brent James) who is trying to change health care by trying to standardize doctors approaches to certain health issues based on evidence. Apparently doctors don’t particularly care to be ‘standardized’ and his approach actually loses hospitals money but, patient outcomes are significantly better and his approaches eliminate waste in the form of needless tests and procedures.
The Bulletin of the World Health Organization published a white paper on Oct. 4th 2009, addressing the concerns of the increase in preterm births worldwide. According to the paper, over ONE MILLION babies die each year from causes related to preterm birth.
Preterm birth is defined as a baby born before 37 weeks gestation. In the United States alone, the cost of caring for preterm babies and their associated health problems tops $26 billion annually. Second only to Africa, North America (US and Canada) has the highest instance of preterm births in the world!