Posts Tagged ‘ blood clot ’

Hospital Refuses to Remove Pregnant Texas Woman from Life Support

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

A Texas woman who collapsed and was declared brain dead after suffering an apparent blood clot in her lungs is remaining on life support despite her family’s wishes, the hospital citing Texas law prohibiting removing a pregnant woman from the machines.  Thirty-three year-old Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her collapse. More from The New York Times:

Mrs. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant, the doctor said, and Texas is one of more than two dozen states that prohibit, with varying degrees of strictness, medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant patient.

More than a month later, Mrs. Munoz remains connected to life-support machines on the third floor of the I.C.U., where a medical team monitors the heartbeat of the fetus, now in its 20th week of development. Her case has become a strange collision of law, medicine, the ethics of end-of-life care and the issues swirling around abortion — when life begins and how it should be valued.

“It’s not a matter of pro-choice and pro-life,” said Mrs. Munoz’s mother, Lynne Machado, 60. “It’s about a matter of our daughter’s wishes not being honored by the state of Texas.”

Mrs. Munoz’s father, Ernest Machado, 60, a former police officer and an Air Force veteran, put it even more bluntly. “All she is is a host for a fetus,” he said on Tuesday. “I get angry with the state. What business did they have delving into these areas? Why are they practicing medicine up in Austin?”

Mrs. Munoz’s parents said they wanted to see the law overturned, but they have not sought any legal action against the hospital, though they have not ruled it out either.

The hospital maintains that it is following the law, although several experts in medical ethics said they believed the hospital was misinterpreting it. A crucial issue is whether the law applies to pregnant patients who are brain-dead as opposed to those in a coma or a vegetative state. The law, first passed by the Texas Legislature in 1989 and amended in 1999, states that a person may not withdraw or withhold “life-sustaining treatment” from a pregnant patient.

Mr. and Mrs. Machado said the hospital had made it clear to them that their daughter was brain-dead, but hospital officials have declined to comment on Mrs. Munoz’s care and condition, creating uncertainty over whether the hospital has formally declared her brain-dead.

A spokeswoman for the J.P.S. Health Network, the publicly financed hospital district in Tarrant County that runs the 537-bed John Peter Smith Hospital, defended the hospital’s actions. “In all cases, J.P.S. will follow the law as it applies to health care in the state of Texas,” the spokeswoman, Jill Labbe, said. “Every day, we have patients and families who must make difficult decisions. Our position remains the same. We follow the law.”

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Facing a C-Section? New Advice May Prevent Blood Clots

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

88791764Pregnant moms: If you undergo a C-section, your doctor may now ask you to wear inflatable boots during surgery to protect against dangerous blood clots.

New guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that the boots be used routinely during C-sections, The Associated Press reports. Compression boots are already a regular part of other operations, such as hip replacements.

They may reduce the risk of a deep vein thrombosis or DVT, a potentially deadly clot that usually forms in the leg or groin and can travel to the lungs. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible. From the AP:

A woman’s risk of a DVT jumps during pregnancy and the six weeks afterward. That’s partly because of slower blood flow from the weight gain, and because mom is less active in the last trimester and during those first few weeks of recovery from childbirth.

It’s also because pregnancy temporarily changes blood to make it clot more easily.

“This is a consequence of nature’s protecting women against the bleeding challenges of childbirth,” explains Dr. Andra James of Duke University, who co-authored the new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Add a C-section and, like any major surgery, it further increases that risk.

James said symptoms of DVT include pain and swelling in just one leg, redness and warmth in one part of the leg, and chest pain, which may signal that the clot reached a lung.

Doctors may need to watch some women closely for DVT throughout pregnancy, the AP reports.

Women who’ve had a DVT earlier in life, or whose close relatives had one – or who have certain inherited clotting disorders – may need anti-clotting medicines throughout the pregnancy, say the recommendations, published in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

(image via: http://healthylifecarenews.com)

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