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Entries in miscarriage (4)

Thursday
Nov152012

Ireland Probes Death of Miscarrying Woman Seeking Abortion

PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A 31-year-old woman is dead after doctors in Ireland reportedly refused to give her an abortion as she languished in pain from an ongoing miscarriage.

Even as medically necessary abortions remain a contentious topic on this side of the Atlantic, doctors in the United States said the death was preventable.

"I don't do abortions, I'll tell you right now. ... But I'd have to tell the mother, 'Your baby doesn't have a chance and to save your life, I have to do this,'" said Dr. John Coppes, the medical director at Austin Medical Center-Mayo Health System in Minnesota.

Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when she arrived at University Hospital Galway in Ireland, complaining of back pain, her husband told the Irish Times.  Doctors told Halappanavar she was miscarrying.

A day into her hospital stay, Halappanavar asked doctors to terminate the pregnancy because she was in "agony," her water had broken and she was shivering and vomiting.  However, they said they couldn't perform the operation if a fetal heartbeat was present because Ireland is a "Catholic country," Halappanavar's husband, told the Irish Times.

Abortion is illegal in Ireland unless a woman's life is in danger if she continues her pregnancy.

In the United States, a Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, made abortion safe and legal in 1973, but the abortion debate has continued to find its way into political discussions, with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declaring himself a "pro-life president" in October after telling an Iowa newspaper he would not legislate on abortion if he won.

During a debate last month, Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., said medical advances have eliminated the need to perform abortions to save ailing mothers' lives.  He quickly backtracked on the statements.

At the Galway University Hospital, Halappanavar's fetal heartbeat stopped nearly three days after she arrived on Oct. 21.  Doctors evacuated Halappanavar's uterus, but she died of septicemia, or blood poisoning, on Oct. 28, according the Irish Times, which cited the autopsy report.

The Galway Roscommon University Hospitals Group confirmed Halappanavar was a pregnant patient who died in its care.  It released a statement extending its sympathies to Halappanavar's husband and explaining that it would be reviewing the "unexpected death" as per the national incident management policy of Ireland's public health care provider, called Health Service Executive, or HSE.

"The process of incident review seeks to ascertain the facts relating to the incident, draw conclusions and make recommendations in relation to any steps that may need to be taken to prevent a similar incident occurring again," HSE said in a statement, adding that it will seek an external obstetrician to join its team of investigators.

Coppes, who has never met Halappanavar, said that when a woman's water, or amniotic sac, breaks during early pregnancy, she is at risk for infection because the barrier between the baby and the outside world is broken.  The fetus' environment is also no longer sterile, putting it at risk for "horrible malformations."

Coppes said the fact that Halappanavar's husband reported she was ill and vomiting suggested a serious infection had set in, and it's possible that it spread to her blood, resulting in the septicemia that killed her.

When an infection occurs in a pregnant woman's uterus, Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, an obstetrician at University Hospitals in Cleveland, said the only way to treat it is to terminate the pregnancy.

"Antibiotics are part of the process, but once an infection develops inside the uterus, antibiotics alone aren't going to treat the infection," Gecsi said.  "The infection will continue until the products of pregnancy are removed, either by natural procedure or with surgical procedure."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr202011

Teacher Forgives Students Whose Fight Resulted in Her Miscarriage

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The lesson New York Spanish teacher Lissedia Batista wants to leave her students with goes far beyond verb conjugations.

Although Batista miscarried after she was accidentally pushed while trying to break up a fight between two of her students, she returns to the classroom this week with only forgiveness and understanding for the pair.

"They're so young, and for something like that to follow them for the rest of their lives? I think they were already stressed enough with the fact that they felt they caused the death of someone's child," Batista, who teaches at Exploration Academy in the Bronx, told the New York Post.

The accident that ended with the loss of Batista's unborn child began when two 15-year-old students, one in ninth grade and the other in tenth, argued over a classroom chair, Marge Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education, told ABC News at the time of the accident.

When Batista tried to break up the fight, she was accidentally pushed and fell to the ground.  She was rushed to the hospital where doctors determined that she had miscarried.

Batista said she would not press charges against the two teenagers because she didn't want them to end up in the criminal justice system, someone close to Batista told ABC News affiliate WABC-TV in New York.

Despite her loss, Batista seems more worried about the welfare of the two students than she is about her own.

"You don't know how some people might take it.  Some people just really go into deep depressions, and teenagers nowadays have a lot to go through and they are the ones that commit the most suicides out of all the age groups.  I didn't want something like that to happen at all.  I don't hold any sour feelings toward them at all," she told the New York Post.

While Batista's actions might seem extraordinarily self-sacrificing, psychologists say that forgiveness is the key to healing.

"People need to know that letting go and forgiveness is something that benefits themselves.  The instinct when hurting is often times thinking about what's going to make the other person feel the pain, eye for an eye.  But what will really helps you heal is to forgive.  Regardless of the other person, forgiveness is the best thing for you," said Ryan Howes, a Pasadena, California, psychologist.

Research seems to support this concept. Studies have found that forgiveness is healthy, both psychologically and physically.  Those who are better forgivers tend to have lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and better relationships.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar082011

Singer Lily Allen Mourns Miscarriage, Admits Bulimia

Creatas/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Lily Allen, who has kept a low profile since her second miscarriage last year, is now speaking out about the subject on a British documentary that will air March 15.

"It was a really long battle, and I think that kind of thing changes a person," Allen said of her second miscarriage, which happened in November.

Allen also revealed that she had suffered from bulimia, an eating disorder.

"I used to vomit after meals," she said in the documentary. "It's not something I'm proud of.

Allen, 25, is engaged to her boyfriend Sam Cooper, a builder she met in 2009. They plan to marry later this year. Their first baby died -- her second in three years -- after Allen contracted a viral infection six months into her pregnancy. Technically, because it occurred after the 20th week, Allen's second loss was a pre-term delivery. Her first miscarriage was at four months in 2008.

Of the nearly 6 million pregnancies each year in the United States, about 15 percent end in miscarriage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In about half the cases, a cause cannot be determined. Among the conditions usually linked to miscarriage are a woman's age, chromosomal abnormalities, structural problems, infections, autoimmune disorders, or a condition that causes the blood to clot in the placenta, known as thrombophilia.

Only about 2 to 5 percent of all pregnant women will experience a second miscarriage, according to Dr. Wendy Chang, director of research and patient education at Southern California Reproductive Center and an assistant professor at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.

"It's still very rare," said Chang, but that risk increases as the number of miscarriages increases.

"The odds are greater," she said. "After one miscarriage, the chances of a live birth are 90 percent. At two, the chances are still low -- a 35 percent chance of another miscarriage. But it does go up linearly."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Thursday
Nov042010

Repeat Miscarriage Occurs in 2-to-5 Percent of Pregnancies, Needs Attention and Support

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- Sandy Robertson had six miscarriages in three years before she eventually gave birth to her now 7-year-old daughter.

As the trauma repeated itself -- three miscarriages after in vitro fertilization, including losing a set of twins, and three more after conceiving on her own -- she was nearly defeated by the emotional turmoil.

"Once you are pregnant, you go through what the baby will look like and how you will do up the nursery, and then, boom, it's gone," said Robertson, now a 52-year-old college professor from Golden, Colo.

"The first time, usually everyone knows about it and sends flowers," said Robertson. "But what do you do after the third or fourth?"

Just this week, 25-year-old British pop singer Lily Allen had her second miscarriage in three years after suffering a viral infection six months into her pregnancy. Her first miscarriage was at four months in 2008.

Allen and her boyfriend, decorator Sam Cooper, were expecting a boy. Friends said the couple was grief-stricken by their loss.

Of the nearly six million pregnancies each year in the United States, approximately 15 percent end in miscarriage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In about half the cases, a cause cannot be determined. Among the conditions usually linked to miscarriage are a woman's age, chromosomal abnormalities, structural problems, infections, autoimmune disorders or a condition that causes the blood to clot in the placenta, known as thrombophilia.

"I never got an explanation," said Robertson, who turned to natural methods for getting pregnant and later wrote about it in the book, Get Pregnant Over 40, Naturally.

She also started a website by the same name which gives advice to those who don't understand the pain of miscarriage. Robertson said, "The best thing to do is just say, "I am sorry and not try to fix it. We get a lot of unwanted advice."

Only about two-to-five percent of all pregnant women will experience a second miscarriage, according to Dr. Wendy Chang, director of research and patient education at Southern California Reproductive Center and an assistant professor at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.

"It's still very rare," said Chang, but that risk increases as the number of miscarriages increases.

"The odds are greater," she said. "After one miscarriage, the chances of a live birth are 90 percent. At two, the chances are still low -- a 35 percent chance of another miscarriage. But it does go up linearly."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio