Saturday, November 04, 2006

A frightened heart

I have heard the news about the death of the 7 new born babies at Rizal Medical Center through my officemate, since I rarely have time to watch tv when I come home from work, it was alarming to realize that this senseless deaths happened in a hospital facility, where every mother is confident that it is safer and better to delivery a baby in the hospital since all the immediate medical assistance is available for any contingent event.....but.... they are robbed of their precious gift, of the opportunity to share life and love with their new bundle of joy and I could not imagine the trauma and pain this incident has caused in their lives.

The information I got was a little vaque and incomplete so it left me wondering what caused this deaths? Why in a hospital facility? Whose fault is it? Is there any preventive measures which can be implemented in the medical institution? Should mother's be oriented for what are the risks and possible diseases a mother may acquire during pregnancy? According to the news, the cause of death was "Neonatal Sepsis" , please read on to learn more about this disease:

Neonatal Sepsis (Bacteria) Basics
Any infection of an infant during the first 7 days of life (early-onset) or 7-89 days of age (late-onset).
Common causes
Bacteria that cause neonatal sepsis include:
group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Escherichia coli, which together account for 70% to 80% of neonatal sepsis cases
Other bacteria are also known to cause neonatal sepsis
Early-onset neonatal sepsis is acquired from the mother to the infant before and/or during delivery.
Late-onset neonatal sepsis is acquired after delivery (in the hospital or community setting).
Neonatal sepsis is a serious condition that can place infants at increased risk of death and/or long-term disability.
Neonatal sepsis occurs at an estimated rate of 1 to 2 cases per 1000 live births in the U.S.
Population-based surveillance for neonatal sepsis was initiated in 2005 as part of the Emerging Infections Program, Active Bacterial Core Surveillance Project (ABCs).

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in Pregnant Women and Infants: Commonly Asked Questions (PDF: 19KB/1 page)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in Pregnant Women and Infants: Commonly Asked Questions
What is Group B Streptococcus (GBS)?GBS is a germ that is found normally in the intestines and genital tract of about one out of five pregnant women.Although it usually is not harmful to the woman, it can cause serious infections in her baby, including infections of the blood, spinal fluid and lungs. It is the most common cause of these types of serious infections in newborns.Not every woman who has GBS in the intestines and genital tract will have a baby with serious infection. Approximately 1 out of 150 babies of mothers who have the germ will develop signs of infection and most of these will occur in the first week of life.There are some factors that increase the chance that a woman will have a baby with GBS disease (see following section).GBS can also cause disease in pregnant women, including urinary tract infections and womb infections. Also people with other illnesses like diabetes or liver disease, or the elderly can have infections with GBS.
What can be done to help prevent GBS disease in my baby? In August 2002, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated recommendations on the prevention of the type of GBS infection that occurs in babies shortly after birth. These guidelines advise health care providers to use a screening-based approach to decide which woman may benefit from getting an antibiotic (like penicillin) through the vein during delivery.Providers use a screening test to see if their patients carry GBS. This test is done by swabbing the vagina and rectum between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy. Women who have a positive screening test for GBS, can benefit from receiving antibiotics during labor.Women who have had a previous baby that had a GBS infection or women who during the current pregnancy have a urinary tract infection with GBS, have an increased risk of having a baby with GBS infection and can benefit from receiving antibiotic during labor. These women do not need to be screened during pregnancy. There are risks that are associated with an increased chance of a woman having a baby with GBS that occur around the time of labor and delivery. These include:
Fever during labor,
Membranes rupture (water break) for 18 or more hours prior to delivery, or
Preterm labor (before 37 weeks). Women who were not screened for GBS, but have one of these factors, can benefit from receiving antibiotics during labor.

Being a mom, I am scarred to my bones of this incident. We need to take care of ourselves... not for our own benefit but most specially for the child we are carrying inside our womb.... they are our responsibility.

They are a miracle from God, not all women are blessed of the same gift, treasure them.


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