Having a baby by Caesarean section is becoming increasingly common, despite the higher risks associated with the surgery compared to a vaginal birth. One important concern is the risk of infection, which is between five and 20 times greater for women who undergo scheduled or emergency Caesarean section. In fact, "the single most important risk factor for postpartum maternal infection is Caesarean section, " according to a new Cochrane review. The researchers looked at 86 studies involving more than 13, 000 women to determine whether the use of antibiotics to prevent infection was beneficial. According to review findings, giving prophylactic or preventive antibiotics to women undergoing Caesarean section reduced the incidence of fever by 45 percent, wound infection by 39 percent, inflammation of the uterine lining by 38 percent and serious infectious complications for the mother by 31 percent.
The International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) has announced that it will commit $446, 000 in 2010 to fund a large translational research program to test potential therapeutics for Rett Syndrome in mouse models of the disease. The funds will be awarded through the IRSF's new Advanced Neurotherapeutic Grant of Excellence (ANGEL) mechanism which seeks to provide funds for translational research. IRSF is the world's largest private source of Rett syndrome research funding, supporting nearly $21 million in research programs to date. This is the first ANGEL Grant supported by IRSF in 2010. The program will be carried out by a team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, led by David M.
Common flame-retardant chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, appear to be linked to reduced fertility in women, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the Los Angeles Times reports. The chemicals, which have been used for more than four decades, are found in foam furniture, electronics, fabrics, carpets and plastics. Although use of PBDEs is being phased out in the U.S, the chemicals are still found in household products manufactured before 2004, according to the Times. For the study, researchers at University of California-Berkley analyzed blood samples of 223 pregnant women for presence of PBDE.
Legal, ethical and medical debates have erupted over a Florida case in which a pregnant woman was forced under court order to stay in the hospital against her wishes, the St. Petersburg Times reports. In March 2009, Samantha Burton checked in to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for what appeared to be premature labor and was order by a doctor there to quit smoking and rest in bed. After asking to be treated elsewhere because of dissatisfaction with her doctor and the hospital, Burton was ordered by Leon County Circuit Court Judge John Cooper to stay at the facility. In his ruling, Cooper said that state has a right "to ensure that children receive medical treatment which is necessary for the preservation of life and health.
In a recent interview with Roll Call, outgoing EMILY's List President Ellen Malcolm reflected on victories and setbacks in her tenure with the group, which grew from its founding in her basement in 1985 to the "pre-eminent women's group in politics." Since Malcolm launched the group -- which bundles money for female candidates who support abortion rights -- EMILY's List's membership has increased to 100, 000. In 2008, it donated $43 million to female candidates who support abortion rights. In addition to fundraising, the group has grown to offer strategic advice and training for candidates. Sen.-elect Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) victory over Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) in the state's recent special Senate election was a "low point" in her 25-year tenure, Malcolm said.
The risk for heart-related death is increasing in young adults ages 35 to 54, and the numbers are even more alarming for younger women. It is the number-one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, yet every year since 1984 more women have died of cardiovascular health problems than men, according to the American Heart Association. "Although there has been a general decline in deaths caused by heart disease, the last decade has seen a steady increase among younger women ages 35 to 44. Women account for more than 50 percent of deaths due to heart disease, " says Dr. Holly Andersen, the director of education and outreach for the Ronald O.