DiversityNursing Blog

This Mom Wants All Parents To See This So They Don't Make The Same Mistake

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jun 23, 2016 @ 11:41 AM

em3mp-baby-hot-water-hose.jpgChildren playing in sprinklers. A fun activity in the summer months. What could go wrong? Read on and find out.

An Arizona mother wants to warn other parents after her 9-month-old boy was accidentally sprayed with scalding hot water coming from the garden hose, causing second-degree burns to about 30 percent of his body.

Dominique Woodger said she was about to fill a little pool with water on Monday, as she normally does. When she turned on the faucet, the extremely hot water came out of the sprinkler head attached to the hose, getting all over her baby who was sitting on the ground.

"I thought he was crying because he was mad, because he hates when he gets sprayed in the face. I didn't think that it was burning him,” Woodger told ABC News.

Woodger said doctors say her baby will be okay, but she doesn't want other parents or children to experience the same pain.

"It's heartbreaking. It is. It sucks," Woodger said. "All of it was peeling. He had blisters all over the right side."

Parents, please remember to always touch the water from the hose before you spray it on your child.

Related Articles:  Practice safety around lakes, swimming pools

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Topics: parents, summer safety

Visiting Nurses, Helping Mothers on the Margins

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Mar 10, 2015 @ 02:02 PM

SABRINA TAVERNISE

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When it came time to have the baby, Shirita Corley was alone. Her mother was at the casino, her sister was not answering her cellphone, her boyfriend had disappeared months earlier, and her father she had not seen in years.

So she got in her green Chevy TrailBlazer and drove herself to the hospital.

“I feel so down,” she texted from her hospital bed. “I’m sick of these deadbeats. I’m sick of having to be so strong.”

The message went not to a friend or family member, but to a nurse, Beth Pletz. Ms. Pletz has counseled Ms. Corley at her home through the Nurse-Family Partnership, which helps poor, first-time mothers learn to be parents.

Such home visiting programs, paid for through the Affordable Care Act, are at the heart of a sweeping federal effort aimed at one of the nation’s most entrenched social problems: the persistently high rates of infant mortality. The programs have spread to some 800 cities and towns in recent years, and are testing whether successful small-scale efforts to improve children’s health by educating mothers can work on a broad national canvas.

Home visiting is an attempt to counter the damaging effects of poverty by changing habits and behaviors that have developed over generations. It gained popularity in the United States in the late 1800s when health workers like Dr. S. Josephine Baker and Lillian Wald helped poor mothers and their babies on the teeming, impoverished Lower East Side of Manhattan. At its best, the program gives poor women the confidence to take charge of their lives, a tall order that Ms. Pletz says can be achieved only if the visits are sustained. In her program, operated here by Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, the visits continue for two years.

It is Ms. Pletz’s knack for listening and talking to women — about misbehaving men, broken cars, unreliable families — that forms the bones of her bond with them.

She zips around Memphis in her aging Toyota S.U.V. with a stethoscope dangling from the rearview mirror. Her cracked iPhone perpetually pings with texts from her 25 clients. Most of them are young, black, poor and single. Few had fathers in their lives as children, and their children are often repeating the same broken pattern.

“I was lost, going from house to house,” recalled Onie Hayslett, 22, who was homeless and pregnant when she first met Ms. Pletz two years ago. Her only shoes were slippers. “She brought me food. That’s not her job description, but she did it anyway. She really cares about what’s going on. I don’t have many people in my life like that.”

Infant mortality rates in the United States are about the same as those in Europe in the first month of life, a recent study found, but then become higher in the months after babies come home from the hospital — a period when abuse and neglect can set in. (The study adjusted for premature births, which are also higher in the United States partly because of poverty. They were kept out of the study, researchers said, because the policies to reduce them are different.)

In Memphis, where close to half of children live in poverty, according to census data, the infant mortality rate has long been among the country’s highest. Sleep deaths — in which babies suffocate because of too much soft bedding or because an adult rolls over onto them — accounted for a fifth of infant deaths in the state, according to a 2013 analysis of death certificates by the Tennessee Department of Health.

When Ms. Pletz recently visited Darrisha Onry, 21, she saw Ms. Onry’s week-old child, Cedveon, lying beside her on a dark blue couch. The room was warm, small and crowded with a large living room set, a glass table, porcelain statues of dogs and an oversize cage holding two tiny, napping puppies.

“Where is he sleeping?” Ms. Pletz asked.

Cedveon started to cry, and Ms. Onry walked out of the room to make his bottle.

“The safest place for him is alone by himself on his back in his crib,” Ms. Pletz said, scooping up Cedveon, who had launched into a full-throated squall.

A little later, Ms. Pletz said, "You know never to shake the baby, right?”

Ms. Onry nodded.

Ms. Pletz continued: “Nerves get shot and sometimes people lose their cool. If that happens, just put him on his back on a bed and close the door, and take a little rest away from him.”

The program is unusual because it is based on a series of clinical trials much like those used to test drugs. In the 1970s, a child development expert, Dr. David Olds, began sending nurses into the homes of poor mothers in Elmira, N.Y., and later into Memphis and Denver. The nurses taught mothers not to fall asleep on the couch with their infants, not to give them Coca-Cola, to pick them up when they cried and to praise them when they behaved. The outcomes were compared with those from a similar group of women who did not get the help.

The results were startling. Death rates in the visited families dropped not just for children, but for mothers, too, when compared with families who did not get the services. Child abuse and neglect declined by half. Mothers stayed in the work force longer, and their use of welfare, food stamps and Medicaid declined. Children of the most vulnerable mothers had higher grade-point averages and were less likely to be arrested than their counterparts.

The program caught the attention of President Obama, who cited it in his first presidential campaign. His administration funded the program on a national scale in 2010. So far, the home visits have reached more than 115,000 mothers and children. States apply for grants and are required to collect data on how the families fare on measures of health, education and economic self-sufficiency. Early results are expected this year.

“The big question is, can the principle of evidence be implemented in a large federal program?” said Jon Baron, president of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a nonprofit group in Washington whose aim is to increase government effectiveness in areas including education, poverty reduction and crime prevention. “And if so, will it actually improve health?”

Experts say federal standards are too loose and have allowed some groups with weak home visiting programs to participate, even if they show effects on only trivial outcomes that have no practical importance for a child’s life. Congress should fix the problem, Mr. Baron said, warning that the program in its current state is “a leaky bucket.”

“If left unchanged, essentially anyone will figure out how to qualify,” he said.

Its future is not assured. Funding for the home visiting initiative runs out as early as September for some states, and if Congress does not reauthorize it this month, programs may stop enrolling families and the $500 million the Obama administration has requested for 2016 will not be granted. Last week, its supporters urged Congress to extend it.

In Tennessee, where home visiting programs have bipartisan support, infant mortality is down by 14 percent since 2010, and sleep deaths dipped by 10 percent from 2012 to 2013. State officials credit a multitude of policies, including the home visits.

Ms. Pletz worries that she has helped only a handful of her clients truly improve their lives. But Ms. Corley, 28, the mother who drove herself to the hospital, said Ms. Pletz, who has been visiting her for two years, had made a difference. She “has been my counselor, my girlfriend, my nurse,” Ms. Corley said. Ms. Pletz helped her cope with the disappearances of her children’s fathers, taught her to recognize whooping cough and pushed her to set career goals, she said.

“She knows more about me than my own family does,” Ms. Corley said. “I feel like I’ve grown more wise. I feel stronger for sure.”

The morning after Ms. Corley gave birth, Ms. Pletz brought her breakfast: eggs, flapjacks and bacon. The new baby, Daniel, lay in a clear plastic crib next to Ms. Corley’s hospital bed, and the two women talked over his head like old friends.

“Can I pick him up?” Ms. Pletz asked.

Ms. Corley replied: “I think he’s waiting on it.”

Source: www.nytimes.com

Topics: parents, affordable care act, mothers, infant mortality, nursing, family, nurse, nurses, children

UK Lawmakers Approve '3-parent babies' Law

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Feb 04, 2015 @ 11:47 AM

By Laura Smith-Spark

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Lawmakers on Tuesday voted in favor of a law that sets the stage for the United Kingdom to be the first country in the world to allow a pioneering in vitro fertilization technique using DNA from three people.

The technique could prevent mitochondrial diseases but also raises significant ethical issues.

The measure was passed in the House of Commons, 382 to 128, Speaker John Bercow said.

A further vote must be held in the UK's upper house, the House of Lords, before the measure can become law.

Passage of the law is opposed by Catholic and Anglican church leaders, in part because the process involves the destruction of an embryo.

One in 6,500 babies in the United Kingdom are thought to develop a serious mitochondrial disorder, which can lead to health issues such as heart and liver disease, respiratory problems, blindness and muscular dystrophy.

Problems with mitochondria, the "powerhouse" cells of the body, are inherited from the mother, so the proposed IVF treatment would mean an affected woman could have a baby without passing on mitochondrial disease.

But the cutting-edge IVF technique, which involves transferring nuclear genetic material from a mother's egg or embryo into a donor egg or embryo that's had its nuclear DNA removed, raises ethical questions.

The new embryo will contain nuclear DNA from the intended father and mother, as well as healthy mitochondrial DNA from the donor embryo -- effectively creating a "three-parent" baby.

The amount of donor DNA in the mitochondria will, however, be much less than the parental DNA in the nucleus, which determines the baby's characteristics.

 

Called an ethical watershed

 

The Church of England's national adviser on medical issues, the Rev. Dr. Brendan McCarthy, described the step as representing an ethical watershed and said more research and wider debate were needed.

"We accept in certain circumstances that embryo research is permissible as long as it is undertaken to alleviate human suffering and embryos are treated with respect. We have great sympathy for families affected by mitochondrial disease and are not opposed in principle to mitochondrial replacement," he said.

"Our view, however, remains that we believe that the law should not be changed until there has been further scientific study and informed debate into the ethics, safety and efficacy of mitochondrial replacement therapy."

Bishop John Sherrington, in a statement posted online by the Catholic Church in England and Wales, urged lawmakers not to rush into taking such a serious step.

"It seems extraordinary that a licence should be sought for a radical new technique affecting future generations without first conducting a clinical trial," he said. "There are also serious ethical objections to this procedure which involves the destruction of human embryos as part of the process."

The California-based Center for Genetics and Society, in an open letter to UK lawmakers last month, said that although the proposed goal was noble, "the techniques will in fact put women and children at risk for severe complications, divert resources from promising alternatives and treatments, and set a policy precedent that experimentation on future generations is an acceptable biomedical/fertility development."

 

Incurable diseases

 

A team at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, led by professor Doug Turnbull and based at Newcastle University in northern England, has been leading the research into the pioneering IVF technique.

The center points out that mitochondrial diseases cannot be cured and that in many families, several people are affected.

A Wellcome Trust fact sheet states that "nuclear DNA is not altered, and so mitochondrial donation will not affect the child's appearance, personality or any other features that make a person unique -- it will simply allow the mitochondria to function normally and the child to be free of mitochondrial DNA disease.

"The healthy mitochondria will also be passed on to any children of women born using the technique."

According to the latest estimates from the research team, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, almost 2,500 women of childbearing age in the UK are at risk of transmitting mitochondrial disease to their children, while in the United States, the number is more than 12,400.

This equates to an average of 152 births per year in the UK, and 778 births per year in the United States, the team said. 

In a Newcastle University news release, Turnbull said his team's findings had considerable implications for other countries considering the technique. Allowing it would give "women who carry these mutations greater reproductive choice," he said.

Source: www.cnn.com

Topics: laws, ethical, parents, birth, lawmakers, 3 parent babies, DNA, embryo, health issues, IVF, health, healthcare, disease, babies

After 8 Years Of Infertility, Parents’ Shocked Reactions To Quadruplet Pregnancy Go Viral

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 11:34 AM

Ashley and Tyson Gardner of Pleasant Grove, Utah, tried to conceive for eight years when they turned to in vitro fertilization this summer.

Boy, did it work. Or rather, girl, did it work. In July, they got the “surprise of our lives” when they went in for an ultrasound and found out they are expecting two sets of identical twins -- all girls.

A photo of the couple looking shocked while holding the ultrasound images has gone viral on their Facebook page, which also features photos of the moment they first found out Ashley was pregnant.

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"My whole goal in opening up about this is to promote infertility awareness," she said in a recent YouTube video. "It's not something that's talked about a lot and it's a really hard trial that people go through."

Ashley's fertility problems were caused by endometriosis, so the couple at first tried intrauterine insemination, she told BabyCenter.com. When that didn't work, they tried IVF, which cost them $12,000 out of their own pockets.

Ashley is now 18 weeks along and she and her husband are busy trying to pick names for their four girls.

"We were so blessed," she writes on her Facebook page.

Source: http://www.today.com

Topics: twins, ultrasound, viral, quadruplet, infertility, parents, nursing, health, pregnant, video, hospital, medicine, babies

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