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Study: Mediterranean diet decreases risk of developing gestational diabetes by 35%

According to new research, pregnant women at high risk for developing gestational diabetes who adopt a Mediterranean diet decrease their risk of developing the condition by 35%. Furthermore, women following this diet also gained less weight. The study compared pregnant women following the Mediterranean diet to those who didn’t change their eating habits.

The Mediterranean diet calls for a high intake of nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, and the elimination of sugary drinks, fast food, and food rich in animal fat. These foods have been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications in non-pregnant population, but have not previously been studied in pregnant women on such a large scale.

“This is the largest study in pregnancy to show that Mediterranean diet minimizes the risk of gestational diabetes and weight gain,” said Shakila Thangaratinam, senior author of the study and a researcher at Queen Mary University of London.

Gestational diabetes is a version of diabetes that initially appears during pregnancy when a mother’s body is not able to effectively use insulin to move glucose from the blood into the cells, causing an excess of glucose in the blood. Risks that accompany the condition include cephalopelvic disproportion, very low blood glucose levels in the baby after birth, and fetal macrosomia. Fetal macrosomia, a medical term used to describe a large baby, can lead to further complications such as shoulder dystocia, instrumental delivery by forceps or vacuum, birth by caesarian section, and other issues. Babies that are too large to be born vaginally may experience complications if a trial of labor is attempted, including a loss of fetal oxygenation and subsequent hypoxic-ischemic injury.

If you developed gestational diabetes during your pregnancy and you or your baby were injured during the labor and delivery process, please contact our skilled and caring birth injury lawyers at 877-262-9767.

Study: Muscle Relaxant, Baclofen, Safe for Young Children with CP

According to a recent study in patients with spastic cerebral palsy, the muscle relaxant, baclofen, is equally safe for children under the age of six as it is for older children when administered directly into the spinal cord.

Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious birth injuries that may occur as a result of medical malpractice. It is often caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow to a baby’s brain during labor and delivery, also known as hypoxia-ischemia. Cerebral palsy can affect both motor coordination and cognition due to brain damage, ranging from mild to severe.

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of the condition, characterized by exaggerated reflexes, increased muscle tone, stiff, jerky movements, muscle tightness and joint stiffness. Medical professionals have used baclofen to reduce abnormal muscle stiffness in older pediatric patients, but until now, the efficacy and safety of intrathecal baclofen therapy in pediatric patients under the age of six had not been studied.

Researchers recorded data of seventeen children that were surgically implanted with a baclofen pump between 11 months and 5.8 years of age. They found that complications were comparable to those of older patients recorded in previously published literature. Thus, researchers concluded that intrathecal baclofen therapy in infants and small children seems safe and effective for use.

What Are Common Symptoms of Spastic Cerebral Palsy?

The most noticeable, early symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy are developmental delays in movement, including difficulties rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking.  People with the condition also may have involuntary movements due to damage to the motor cortex of the brain, which can happen before, during, or after birth. Although cerebral palsy is a non-progressive condition, the injury may become more noticeable as a child grows older.

How Do I Know if My Child has Cerebral Palsy Because of a Birth Injury?

A birth injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a birth injury claim, so please call us at 877-262-9767 for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation, which may help to cover medical bills to get your child the treatment he or she needs.

Study: One in Twenty Medical Patients are Impacted by a Preventable Medical Mistake 

According to a new study published by the British Medical Journal, researchers from the UK found that more than one out of every 10 patients are harmed by a medical mistake, and that one in 20 patients are impacted by a preventable medical mistake. Researchers analyzed 70 different studies including over 300,000 patients whose records indicated an injury incurred in a healthcare setting that was unrelated to their prior medical conditions. Of the injuries reported, 12% were considered severe—i.e. the patient was permanently disabled or died as a result of treatment.

Each year, approximately 700 women die of pregnancy-related complications in the United States. In fact, a 2018 investigation undertaken by USA Today revealed that more women are dying due to childbirth complications in the United States than any other country in the developed world. This is particularly troubling, considering the leading causes of maternal death are preventable: postpartum hemorrhage (bleeding) and preeclampsia (a condition characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy).

The investigation suggests that hypertension—dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to preeclampsia—is a leading cause of mothers dying and suffering strokes. As many as 60% of maternal deaths could have been prevented if the mother had been given proper care and treatment for high blood pressure.

Similarly, hemorrhage is a leading cause of mothers dying and suffering life-threatening injuries. Extreme blood loss, whether during delivery or bleeding internally, can be the result of a medical mistake. In fact, as many as 93% of maternal deaths caused by hemorrhaging could have been prevented, according to the investigation.

Preventable medical mistakes can significantly impact infants, as well, sometimes leading to permanent, life-altering injuries or even death. For example, failure to correctly interpret a fetal heart monitoring strip can cause a baby to suffer irreversible brain damage, potentially leading to conditions such as cerebral palsy. Improper use of vacuum or forceps during delivery may cause fetal skull fractures. Excessive manipulation during delivery causing an infant’s brachial plexus nerves to stretch or tear may lead to a brachial plexus injury or Erb’s Palsy. Tragically, an infant’s wrongful death may be caused by preventable medical mistakes, such as failure to diagnose and respond to fetal distress, failure to perform a caesarian section when necessary, failure to provide proper resuscitation after a traumatic birth, or failure to provide head or body cooling, to name a few.

If a loved one died or you or your child suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence during pregnancy, labor or delivery, or the postpartum period, please contact us at 877-262-9767 for a free consultation.

 

 

Data Suggests New Jersey Hospitals Perform Too Many C-Sections

According to data released by the New Jersey Department of Health, the state performs an excess number of surgical births (C-sections), among women considered at low risk for birth complications. New Jersey’s surgical birth rate is almost seven percent higher than the national target rate of 23.9 per 100 live births, with only eight out of 49 New Jersey hospitals meeting the benchmark.

A cesarean section, also known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby when the safety of the mother or baby is at risk. Incisions are made through the mother’s abdomen and uterus. In certain situations, these procedures can be lifesaving to both mother and child, but many performed in New Jersey have been deemed to be unnecessary and preventable.

“While these procedures can save lives, too many women in our state are experiencing preventable C-sections, which are putting them at unnecessary risk for injury or death,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal. 

Like any surgery, surgical births pose risks, such as maternal bleeding, infections and blood clots, which can all lead to maternal death. In 2018, an investigation undertaken by USA Today suggested that more women are dying due to childbirth complications in the United States than the rest of the developed world. Hemorrhaging was a leading cause, with as many as 90% of maternal deaths due to extreme blood loss that could have been prevented. 

In light of this eye-opening data, leaders from New Jersey birthing hospitals have committed to achieving cesarean birth rates for low risk women of 23.9 percent or lower by December 31, 2021. Furthermore, this summer, 2019, the New Jersey Department of Health will publish additional data for the New Jersey Report Card of Hospital Maternity Care, which will include surgical birth rates, complication rates, and severe maternal morbidity (SMM) data.

Additionally, New Jersey’s First Lady, Tammy Murphy, has launched a statewide awareness campaign called “Nurture NJ” to reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity and ensure equitable care among women and children of all races and ethnicities. 

If you believe your loved one died due to medical negligence during her pregnancy, labor, childbirth or the postpartum period, please contact us at 877-262-9767.

Preeclampsia Drug Reaches Clinical Trial Phase

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have published a study in the journal Scientific Reports that suggests a drug (alpha-1-microglobulin or A1M) has potential therapeutic effects in patients with preeclampsia. In tests, researchers found that A1M stopped the leakage of protein in the kidneys and improved organ function in the kidneys and the placenta.

Preeclampsia is characterized by the development of high blood pressure and high protein levels in urine at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is a serious complication that can result in maternal and fetal injury or death. An investigation undertaken by USA Today suggests that high blood pressure is a leading cause of mothers dying and suffering strokes—and as many as 60% of maternal deaths due to hypertension could have been prevented.   

Patient trials were launched after researchers saw no indication of side effects, and the results confirmed previous studies by the research team. 

“This feels like a milestone in our research,” senior researcher Lena Erlandsson said of the clinical trials. 

A date has not yet been set for a potential drug to come to market, as the research and development of pharmaceuticals takes many years. However, the results of this study are promising and suggest there may be a treatment for the condition that annually affects around 9 million pregnant women worldwide. 

Pregnant women with preeclampsia are at risk for seizures and the development of eclampsia (coma), stroke, severe bleeding, heart attack, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and placental abruption. If severe preeclampsia develops, the mother will require hospitalization.  However, mild preeclampsia may be managed with at-home care and close physician monitoring.  

Symptoms of preeclampsia may include headaches, blurred vision, upper abdominal pain, decreased urine output, low blood platelet level, and sudden weight gain, and should be discussed with a physician.

If you experienced preeclampsia during your pregnancy, and you or your child suffered injury as a result, please contact us at 877-262-9767.

 

The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.

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The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.

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