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Study of birth injury cases sheds light on medical errors responsible for cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy often stems from medical malpractice around the time of birth (making it a birth injury), and many parents choose to sue the doctors or hospitals that are responsible. Information collected from these legal cases could shed light on the types of medical errors most likely to contribute to a cerebral palsy diagnosis; however,…

New studies on Sildenafil treatment in babies with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)

Sildenafil is the phosphodiesterase-V inhibitor more commonly known as Viagra (1). It has been successful in treating pediatric pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) because it increases blood pressure in the lungs. It has grown in usage and is now the major treatment option for PAH in babies, even though it is still used off-label and requires…

Placental Screenings: The Future of Prenatal Care?

The placenta, or “afterbirth,” was previously considered a simple, relatively unimportant organ. However, over time, researchers have realized that it plays a critical role not only in fetal development and maternal health during pregnancy, but also in the long-term well being of both mothers and their children. Although its importance is now generally recognized throughout…

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…

Leaking Amniotic Fluid

If amniotic fluid begins leaking during pregnancy, this can be cause for concern. Read on to learn more about the purpose of amniotic fluid, normal levels at various stages of pregnancy, and what leakage can indicate. What is amniotic fluid? During pregnancy, the baby floats in amniotic fluid, which is contained inside of the amniotic…

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…