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Do midwives have the midwives — basically nurses — have the medical knowledge and insight to provide consultation for mothers or help them make decisions that are a matter of life and death?

My feeling is that some do and some don’t.  But I think, on balance, why not have an OB/GYN?  If you are having a child, you want to mitigate risk.  The best way to mitigate risk is to find the best doctor you possibly can to guide you through pregnancy and deliver your child.

  • Why midwives are both easier and harder to sue

Since cerebral palsy (CP) is associated with children, much of the data comprises infants and young children. There is little information on difficulties that adults with cerebral palsy face as they get older. However, a recent study fills in this lack of data. Published in JAMA Neurology, it concluded that adults with cerebral palsy are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

The study                               

baby-in-womb-300x160Conducted by British, American, and Irish researchers, they used data from the United Kingdom’s Clinic Practice Research Datalink primary care database. Their data spans the years 1987 to 2015. The researchers examined 1,705 adults, ages 18 to 99, with cerebral palsy who also received depression and anxiety diagnoses. They compared each adult with CP to three adults without CP. The researchers chose these individuals based on the same age, gender, and primary care practice as adults with CP. The data covers about 7% of the country’s population. It comprises clinical events, prescriptions, referrals, and hospital admissions.

Nike has just signed their first professional athlete with cerebral palsy, cross-country runner Justin Gallegos. They signed the University of Oregon junior to a three-year contract.  A moving video posted on YouTube shows the exact moment that he had received the news, which was on World Cerebral Palsy Day. The announcement caught Justin by surprise, as he was finishing up a race.  It was a great moment for people with cerebral palsy and their families and, obviously, a nice piece of marketing for Nike.  I feel like I’m being a little manipulated by this story and I still have an urge to run out and buy some Nikes.

Justin’s Story

shutterstock_233474563-300x200-300x200Throughout his young life, Gallegos overcame significant adversity because of his condition. He learned to walk at 2 years old, with the help of a walker. However, physical therapy helped improve his stride well enough that he did not need it by the time he reached Kindergarten. Gallegos initially wanted to join his high school’s football team, but his father Brent persuaded him to join the cross-country team instead. Brent and Justin spoke to his high school’s cross-country coaches Darren James and Larry David about possibly joining the team. Brent assured both coaches that their son could run three miles needed for a cross-country race, and Justin would have a strong work ethic.

Medical errors can seriously affect patients. While mistakes made may not affect health outcomes, sometimes fatal results may occur. A Johns Hopkins study discovered that over 250,000 people die in the United States each year because of medical errors. This makes it the third-leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer. One of the medical errors that are harming patients pertains to medical record documentation. Below are a few examples of how mistakes in entering medical records can cause real injuries to people.

A Young Florida Woman with Headaches

medical malpractice

A 19-year-old Florida woman received metaphorical headaches from blatant errors in her medical record. Because of a chronic illness she has, she visits many medical specialists. As a result, she and her mother always request her medical records after each visit. This allows them to keep track of her medical records in the same place. If it were not for her constantly requesting her medical records, she might not have been able to catch these mistakes in time for mistreatment or misdiagnosis. After a visit to a woman’s health clinic in 2016, she requested her records as she usually did. However, there was something peculiar about the records she received. There was a note in the record saying that she had two children. It noted that one was still alive, and the other one died shortly after birth. According to the dates associated with that note, she would have had to have given birth to the first child at age 13. This made little sense, as she had never been pregnant. It was also not the first mistake either, as a previous record erroneously noted that she had diabetes. She did not find out about that specific mistake in her records until a doctor had asked her questions about her blood sugar. It was only after her appointment that she found the records that note this error. Unfortunately for the woman, trying to remove the pregnancies she never had from the record was difficult. She called the doctor’s office, notifying them that she has no children and has never been pregnant before. The assistant on the other end kept insisting that she was wrong and that the records were accurate. This person also insisted this pregnancy would not have been on record if she did not notify the doctor’s office about it. According to a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, this is not an uncommon response. Doctors do not want to admit their mistakes, out of fear of being sued for medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one are taking valsartan, you may or may not know about the recent recalls or lawsuits involving it. All of them involve valsartan-products manufactured in China by the pharmaceutical company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical (ZHP). They all note that ZHP-manufactured valsartan contains N-nitrodimethylamine (NDMA), which groups, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), categorized as a potential carcinogen.

Valsartan Worldwide Recalls

med-mal-300x200-300x200ZHP-manufactured Valsartan could be found in various countries throughout the world. The relatively low manufacturing costs in China made it attractive for countries such as the United States to import it. While these generic drugs may be cheaper to make in China, there are fewer regulations that ensure the safe manufacture of these drugs. This is the tradeoff you get when buying some generic drug imports. Because of the discovery of NDMA in ZHP-manufactured valsartan, the European Union, Taiwan, Canada, the United States, and South Korea announced successive recalls in July 2018.

Serratia marcescens outbreaks are rare. When they happen, it is a big deal. Here are the eight things you want to know about these infections that often end in medical malpractice cases.

  1. What is Serratia marcescens?

Serratia marcescens is a nosocomial opportunistic pathogen. This bacterial pathogen has been isolated from several human clinical specimens and some non-human sources. It is naturally occurring in soil and water. At room temperature, it produces a red pigment. Serratia marcescens has a history of causing infections in both children and adults. It is transmitted through direct contact.

A team of researchers at University College London has developed a device known as a broadband near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) that uses light to detect brain damage in infants. They are now planning a clinical trial of the NIRS.

What is near-infrared spectroscopy?

Operating-room-pic-3-300x211Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a spectroscopic method that uses the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. There are many different applications of NIRS which include astronomical spectroscopy, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and neonatal research.

The potentially dramatic impact of a stroke on your health and wellness cannot be understated. What many people don’t know is that strokes arise from several possible conditions, including brain ischemia (commonly referred to as cerebral or cerebrovascular ischemia).

What is Brain Ischemia?

Brain ischemia occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to the brain. This happens when arteries within the brain become blocked or there is bleeding. The resulting lack of oxygen can cause brain tissue death, cerebral infarction, or ischemic stroke. The longer your brain goes without oxygen, the more serious the damage.

med-mal-300x200Ischemia is divided into two categories: focal (specific to one portion of the brain) and global (impacting a large general area of the brain). While focal ischemia is often caused by a blood clot, global ischemia is most often linked to heart attacks.

As a parent, you don’t want to hear that there’s a problem with your soon to be son or daughter.  Or that a life-changing complication was discovered in the hours after their birth. An infection during pregnancy can have devastating consequences for you and your child.  If untreated, maternal infection can result in a permanent birth injury or even death.

What Are Maternal Infections?

Operating-room-pic-3-300x211These are illnesses that affect both mother and fetus during pregnancy. While some common maternal infections, (such as flu or a cold) will very little impact on a pregnancy, there are a few that can result in serious health complications.

Antipsychotic medications (such as Abilify, Seroquel, Risperdal, and Zyprexa) are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the country. But a bombshell report released by Human Rights Watch has found that tens of thousands of elderly patients with dementia are being inappropriately prescribed antipsychotic drugs.

The study states that nearly 180,000 residents in long-term nursing facilities are receiving these unapproved medications. What’s more, it’s believed that roughly 15,000 nursing home residents die each year from anti-psychotic abuse. The use of these drugs against their intended purpose needlessly places vulnerable patients in harm’s way and speaks to a larger epidemic of overmedication in the United States.

Caring for Elderly Dementia Patients