Friday, March 29th, 2013
A 21-year-old Michigan man is being hailed as a Good Samaritan after he saved the life of a 3 lb. 8 oz. girl who was born on the side of the road. More from Yahoo.com:
The story comes from ClickOnDetroit.com, which spoke with Ryan Cornelissen about his unexpected heroics. He said he’d been on his way to the bank when he saw a man attempting to flag him down. Cornelissen pulled over and learned that the man’s wife had just had a baby, and that the newborn was having trouble breathing. The couple had been on their way to the hospital to have the baby, but had run out of time.
“The mom was sitting in the front seat, she had a blanket, and all I saw was the top of the baby’s head,” Cornelissen said. Neither parent spoke English very well, so Cornelissen called 911 for them. The dispatcher explained how to perform CPR on the newborn.
“Tilt its head back just a little, but not too much, OK? … You’re going to cover the baby’s nose and mouth with your mouth,” the dispatcher said.
After several attempts, the baby, born two months early, began breathing. “Oh, yes! The baby is whimpering,” Cornelissen told the dispatcher. “She’s breathing!”
He recalled, “I remember the baby’s face. I will never forget. It was awesome.”
Image: Man driving car, via Shutterstock
Friday, March 29th, 2013
A 15 pound, 7 ounce baby named George was born six weeks ago in England in a surprising–and harrowing–experience for the boy’s mother, Jade King, who birthed him vaginally. Yahoo.com has more:
No one realized just how big George was until his head had emerged, at which point his shoulders got temporarily stuck and he went without oxygen for five minutes.
“There was about 20-odd doctors in the room, and that’s when it got really scary,” King recalled.
Once the baby was out, he was given a 10 percent chance of survival and transferred from Cheltenham to another hospital, in Bristol. He was kept there for four and a half weeks and then went home, and just received normal results from an MRI.
“It might just be that he’s a little bit slow with his learning,” his mom added. “So hopefully it’s just minor little things.”
George has only gained a pound since his birth, and has been wearing clothes sized for a 3-to-6-month old from day one (his mom had to give away all the newborn onesies that were awaiting him at home). He is the second-biggest baby ever born vaginally in the UK, according to various reports; the larger baby weighed just an ounce more.
In George’s case, doctors were unsure of what caused his hugeness, the medical term for which is called macrosomia. But the condition is often caused by mom having had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Image: Woman giving birth at hospital, via Shutterstock
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
In a medical first, doctors have used a treatment that appears to have cured a baby born with HIV, raising hopes that babies born with the AIDS-causing virus may be facing far more hopeful futures. The New York Times reports:
The baby, born in rural Mississippi, was treated aggressively with antiretroviral drugs starting around 30 hours after birth, something that is not usually done. If further study shows this works in other babies, it will almost certainly change the way newborns of infected mothers are treated all over the world. The United Nations estimates that 330,000 babies were newly infected in 2011, the most recent year for which there is data, and that more than 3 million children globally are living with H.I.V.
If the report is confirmed, the child born in Mississippi would be only the second well-documented case of a cure in the world, giving a boost to research aimed at a cure, something that only a few years ago was thought to be virtually impossible.
The first person cured was Timothy Brown, known as the “Berlin patient,’’ a middle-aged man with leukemia who received a bone-marrow transplant from a donor genetically resistant to H.I.V. infection.
“For pediatrics, this is our Timothy Brown,’’ said Dr. Deborah Persaud, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and lead author of the report on the baby. “It’s proof of principle that we can cure H.I.V. infection if we can replicate this case.’’
Dr. Persaud and other researchers spoke in advance of a presentation of the findings on Monday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta.
Some outside experts, who have not yet heard all the details, said they needed convincing that the baby had truly been infected. If not, this would be a case of prevention, something already done for babies born to infected mothers.
“The one uncertainty is really definitive evidence that the child was indeed infected,” said Dr. Daniel R. Kuritzkes, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Image: Smiling doctor, via Shutterstock
Monday, August 27th, 2012
The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its policy on circumcision, saying the benefits of the procedure mean parents should get access to it, and insurance companies should pay for it.
But the academy stopped short of recommending circumcision for all baby boys, saying it’s up to parents to decide, the Associated Press reports.
The new policy follows recent studies showing that circumcision reduces chances of infection with HIV and other sexually spread diseases, urinary tract infections and penis cancer.
Insurance coverage of circumcision varies, and Medicaid won’t pay for it in some states. Rates of circumcision in the United States have dropped in recent years, although about half of all U.S. baby boys still undergo the procedure. From the AP:
[The new policy] comes amid ongoing debate over whether circumcision is medically necessary or a cosmetic procedure that critics say amounts to genital mutilation. Activists favoring a circumcision ban made headway in putting it to a vote last year in San Francisco but a judge later knocked the measure off the city ballot, ruling that regulating medical procedures is up to the state, not city officials.
In Germany, Jewish and Muslim leaders have protested a regional court ruling in June that said circumcision amounts to bodily harm.
Meantime, a recent study projected that declining U.S. circumcision rates could add more than $4 billion in health care costs in coming years because of increased illness and infections.
Image: Newborn baby boy via Shutterstock.
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have been studying the ongoing decline in the number baby boys who are circumcised, concluding that the drop could mean increased health care costs, to the tune of billions of dollars. The study comes as a growing number of states’ Medicaid insurance programs are cutting coverage for the procedure. Time Magazine reports:
Studies link circumcision with numerous health benefits: the procedure is associated with lower risks of urinary tract infections in babies and young boys, and reductions in men’s risk of contracting HIV, genital herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV); it may also help reduce the odds of penile and prostate cancers. By reducing the burden of sexually transmitted infections among men, it may also help keep more women infection-free as well.
If circumcision rates were to drop from the current 55% to 10%, urinary tract infections in baby boys may rise a whopping 212%, and in men, HIV infections could increase by 12%, HPV infections by 29% and herpes simplex virus type 2 by 20%. In women, dropping rates of male circumcision could increase cases of bacterial vaginosis by 18% and low-risk HPV by 13%.
As gaps in insurance coverage increasingly lead parents to opt out of circumcision, the researchers say a drop to 10% is not unlikely — that’s in line with circumcision rates in Europe, where the procedure is typically not covered by insurance. Medicaid programs in many states have eliminated coverage of the procedure: currently, 18 states no longer pay for it, with South Carolina and Colorado most recently ending coverage last year. According to the study authors, the rate of circumcision rates had remained steady at about 79% between 1970 and ’80, but fell to 63% in 1999 and then dropped again to 55% in 2010.
Image: Newborn boy, via Shutterstock