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April 2011 Archives

Missing warning signs of preeclampsia can lead to tragedy

It is important for many reasons that pregnant women and their doctors keep careful tabs on their health during pregnancy. A potentially fatal condition known as preeclampsia can occur when the woman's blood pressure rapidly rises.

Insurance "Closed Claims" Offer Window into Ohio Medical Malpractice

Ohio's Department of Insurance releases a report annually which details the "closed claims" paid out by insurance companies on behalf of their medical professional liability customers - in other words, the payments made by insurance companies for doctors accused of medical malpractice. The report offers an interesting look at medical malpractice cases in Ohio.

Predicting premature births

Medical professionals may have a new tool for identifying mothers who are at risk for delivering preterm. Early delivery is a significant threat to the health of an infant. Roughly three-quarters of infant deaths are attributable to preterm delivery. The ability to predict and take steps to alleviate these and other delivery complications could improve the prospects for countless families every year.

Jury awards family $21 Million after birth injury

A jury recently awarded a family more than $21 million after finding that the nursing staff was 100 percent liable for failing to properly monitor the fetal heart rate. Now the young boy suffers from cerebral palsy. He cannot speak and is fed through a feeding tube. The funds will be needed to pay for round-the-clock medical care that he may need for the rest of his life.

Study compares intervention rates with newborn health outcomes

A new study examines the relationship between the frequency with which hospitals use obstetric interventions and the medical outcomes for infants born in those hospitals. Looking at rates of inducing labor and cesarean section births, the study found that there were broad differences between how often these were used at various hospitals serving similar populations. The study also found that health outcomes for newborns varied between hospitals and by year. However the study did not find a correlation between interventions and health outcomes.

Researchers explore genetic link to preterm birth risk

One challenge for medical professionals is identifying pregnant women who may be at higher risk for preterm birth. If women who may be at higher risk can be identified, proactive measure can be taken to monitor and provide treatment alternatives in order to increase the chances that the pregnancy will be carried to full term or to make a premature birth as safe as possible for both the mother and baby.

C-sections may create unforeseen future complications

In many scenarios Cesarean section deliveries are life saving procedures for the infant and sometimes for the mother. But a recent report highlights a growing risk associated with subsequent pregnancies for mothers who have had a prior C-section delivery.

Drug maker agrees to reduce price of new premature birth drug

Almost a month ago in this space we shared a story about a new drug which had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent premature birth. While it is encouraging that pharmaceutical manufacturers are working on this and that they may be making progress, it was startling to learn that the drug was expected to cost of up to $30,000 over the course of a typical pregnancy.

FDA Suggests Operator Changes for Scanners Used In Radiation Overdoses

In 2009, a number of people reported mysterious ring-pattern hair loss on their heads. Although these cases baffled doctors at first, investigators soon discovered the culprit: overdoses of radiation that patients had received during CT scans of their brains. In all, nearly 400 people are confirmed to have been affected. The scans, called brain perfusion scans, were often administered to help determine whether the patient had suffered a stroke. Beyond the telltale hair loss, the overdoses may turn out to be very serious, putting the patients at greatly increased risk of cancer and brain damage.

Study examines efficacy of premature birth prevention program

One of the strongest indicators for a premature birth is having already had a spontaneous pre-term birth in the past. A new study appearing in the April edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology investigates the effectiveness of pre-term birth prevention programs for women who had already delivered one child pre-term.

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