Bulging Fontanelle

What is a bulging fontanelle? The human skull is made of many bones, which join together to protect the brain. The lines at which they fuse are called sutures. When a baby is born, these sutures are not yet all firmly joined together. This allows the head to be a bit more flexible as it…

Research Update: Vacuum Extractors and Forceps Are Both Associated with a Higher Risk of Shoulder Dystocia

Vacuum extractors and forceps are both tools that can be used to assist with a vaginal birth. In developed countries, vacuum extractors have become much more commonly used than forceps, and in certain situations are the safer choice. However, this tool also involves serious risks. For example, some studies have found an association between the…

Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)

Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), previously called hyaline membrane disease (HMD), is a newborn health condition characterized by breathing difficulty. It occurs when a baby’s body does not produce enough of a lung-lubricating substance called surfactant. Babies with RDS have trouble expanding their lungs, which can make it difficult for them to take in oxygen and…

What is G6PD Deficiency? How Does It Impact Newborn Babies?

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, or G6PD, is an enzyme in the body that helps protect red blood cells from injury. When an individual suffers from G6PD deficiency, a genetic disease, he or she fails to make an adequate amount of this enzyme, thereby putting red blood cells in danger of cell death (1). While this condition ranges…

Leaking Amniotic Fluid and Birth Injuries

If amniotic fluid begins leaking during pregnancy, this may increase the baby’s risk of experiencing a birth injury. Some women find it difficult to determine if they are really leaking amniotic fluid or another substance (such as urine or vaginal discharge), so it is important to consult a doctor if there is any uncertainty. Read…

Language Barriers and Medical Malpractice

One misunderstood word resulted in 18-year-old Willie Ramirez becoming quadriplegic. It was the year 1980. Ramirez had been enjoying a night out when he felt a sudden, sharp pain.  “It felt like someone was sticking a needle through my head,” he recounted in a recent interview for Health Affairs. Ramirez managed to drive himself to…

In Norway, Rates of Cerebral Palsy Decline as Perinatal Healthcare Improves

Many cases of cerebral palsy (CP) are caused by complications that occur around the time of delivery (these are known as birth injuries). Based on this, Sandra Julsen Hollung and colleagues hypothesized that improvements in obstetrical and neonatal care could decrease the rate of cerebral palsy. Studying the Impact of Healthcare Standards on Cerebral Palsy…