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Compound presentation

Compound presentation occurs when the part of the fetus closest to the birth canal (usually the head) presents with an extremity next to it (usually hand or arm) (1). It has been estimated to affect less than 0.004% of pregnancies. What are the causes of compound presentation?  Compound presentation can occur as a result of…

Thyroid issues during pregnancy

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that produces thyroid hormones, which affect heart rate and metabolism.  A thyroid disorder occurs when the thyroid makes too much or too little of certain thyroid hormones (1).  Hyperthyroidism: This condition occurs when the thyroid is overactive, or makes too much thyroid hormone. It can cause…

Maternity Care Shortages and Birth Injuries

One of the major risk factors for birth injuries, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), is lack of access to high quality healthcare. This means that births may be more dangerous if the mother does not live near a hospital with trained and qualified staff, or if she is uninsured/unable to afford care.  Additionally, some states…

Medical Malpractice News: Scandal Rocks UNC Health Care’s Pediatric Heart Surgery Program

A recent New York Times investigation revealed shocking rates of mortality in children who underwent pediatric heart surgery at North Carolina Children’s Hospital, which is part of the University of North Carolina (UNC) health system.  The exposé (1), written by Ellen Gabler and published on May 31st, 2019, details how UNC higher-ups repeatedly dismissed cardiologists’…

Episiotomies: Uses, Guidelines, and Recent Findings

A recent story in HuffPost entitled “Why Are We Still Cutting Women’s Vaginas During Birth?” tells the story of a woman named Rachel who experienced an episiotomy during childbirth (1). An episiotomy is an incision made to the perineum, the area between the vaginal opening and the anus, to aid in delivery (2).  Rachel heard…

Journalists release shocking rates of childbirth complications in hospitals across the U.S.

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country in the world (1). There are myriad reasons for this devastating fact, one of which is that hospitals across the country can be terribly unprepared for maternal emergencies. In a recent USA Today story, journalists examined billing records from seven million births in…

Covering the cost of a NICU stay

When a baby requires care after birth, they will be transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or the NICU. Babies may require a NICU stay if they were born prematurely, had problems during delivery, or experienced complications after birth. The cost of a NICU stay depends on a number of factors including duration, treatments,…

Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers Supports Development of Artificial Placenta

We recently made several donations to important pediatric funds at Michigan Medicine, the healthcare system run by the University of Michigan. One of the funds we picked supports the development of an artificial placenta, which is designed to mimic the womb environment and help premature babies. Artificial placenta: what has already been accomplished? Artificial placenta…