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Advice against Health Hazards

Why do Obstetricians Still Rush to Clamp the Cord?

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For many years, the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics have advised against early umbilical cord clamping. But obstetricians have been reluctant to change their habits.

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Although no clamping occurs in nature, cord clamping has become such an accepted norm that delayed clamping is generally considered a new or unproved intervention.

Basic teaching of physiology could be a factor — most textbooks state or imply that the cord circulation closes only because of the application of the cord clamp, which is not accurate.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr. David Hutchon argues:
“Clamping the functioning umbilical cord at birth is an unproved intervention. Lack of awareness of current evidence, pragmatism, and conflicting guidelines are all preventing change. To prevent further injury to babies we would be better to rush to change.”

A separate review in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine also highlights the importance of delayed cord clamping, stating:

“Many clinical studies have revealed that the delayed cord clamping elevates blood volume and hemoglobin and prevents anemia in infants.

Moreover, since it was known that umbilical cord blood contains various valuable stem cells such as hematopoietic stem cells, endothelial cell precursors, mesenchymal progenitors and multipotent/pluripotent lineage stem cells, the merit of delayed cord clamping has been magnified.”

Resources:
British Medical Journal November 10 2010
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine March 2010; 14(3):488-95
iVillage.com June 1, 2010

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News on Health & Science

Banking on Stem Cells

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Advertisements in the media advise parents to “plan and protect your children’s future and their health status”. These are not commercials for insurance plans, but private stem cell banking facilities, where, for a steep price, your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells can be preserved for future use.
..click & see

Stem cells are in the news. Independent national and international laboratories are making claims and counterclaims about the “miracles” they have achieved with them. Paralysed people have been able to walk, rare degenerative nervous and muscular system diseases been reversed, and some cancers of the blood cells cured. People with terminal illnesses have also been offered hope…..click & see

Actress Lisa Ray underwent stem cell therapy for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells...click & see

Stem cells may be embryonic, adult or derived from umbilical cords. Embryonic stem cells are obtained from the extra fertilised eggs at in vitro fertilisation (IVF) centres. The use of these cells is controversial, as, theoretically, they have the potential to become human beings. They are the “spare babies” belonging to a particular IVF couple. When supplied to a stem cell research facility, they are grown in a nutrient broth in a culture dish and used for research or treatment.

Adult stem cells are found in bone marrow. These are harvested from the bone marrow of living donors. It’s a surgical procedure done under anaesthesia with some post-operative discomfort. The cells are capable of eventually forming either various types of blood cells or stromal cells from which cartilage and fat tissues arise.

Haematologists treat a variety of hereditary blood disorders and some of the blood cancers with either autologous (the person’s own) stem cells or compatible donor cells from bone marrow transplants. This technology has been used for the last 30 years. Bone marrow transplants are life saving for people with certain blood cancers. They can also be used for serious blood disorders such as aplastic anaemia. They can also help boost the immune system if it is impaired because of an inherited genetic defect or destroyed by cancer.

Umbilical cords are a rich and non-controversial source of stem cells. Cord blood has a greater ability to generate new blood cells than does bone marrow. Also, smaller quantities of cord blood cells are needed for successful transplantation. These cords are normally discarded along with the placenta from labour wards all over the world.

At present, in India, patients who require stem cell treatment or a bone marrow transplant have to search for a relative who is an appropriate tissue match. Sometimes even close first-degree relatives like a parent or sibling are not compatible. India does not as yet have a centralised national bone marrow registry to match recipients and donors.

Some foresighted countries with efficient national health schemes like the United Kingdom and Brazil do have public cord blood banks. Blood is screened for infective agents, documented in a registry and stored. The chances of finding compatible stem cells are high because of the large volumes stored.

India has private cord blood banks which store blood only for the use of that particular child for a period of 21 years. It may be a cost effective option for parents who have a family history of certain genetic diseases, such as severe hereditary anaemias, immune disorders or certain cancers. Even then, the chance that the blood can be used for that particular child is only 1 in 2,000. In families with no such risk factors, there is only about a 1-in-20,000 chance of the child ever needing a stem cell transplantation. Also, even if the child does require a stem cell transplant, it is unlikely that his or her own cord blood would be the desired source of stem cells. The same chromosomal or genetic defect causing the leukaemia, any other cancer or metabolic disorder, is likely to be present in the child’s stem cell line. There is no proof that a transplant using the child’s own stem cells is effective or even safe, especially in cases of childhood cancers.

Indians have a very diverse genetic make-up. The large-scale collection and storage of cord blood in public banks will be very useful. It can be used for matched unrelated recipients who urgently need blood cell transplants.

Stem cells are probably the future of medicine and the human race. They are multifaceted and have the potential to develop into different cell types. They can theoretically keep dividing as long as the person is alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another specialised cell like a muscle cell, red blood cell, or brain cell. This means stem cells can be infused as a sort of emergency repair mechanism to replenish damaged tissues.

Perhaps disease, aging, cancer and even death can be controlled and conquered. And living healthily forever may become a reality.

Source
:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Environmental Pollution News on Health & Science

232 Toxic Chemicals found in 10 Babies

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Laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group have detected bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic component and synthetic estrogen, in umbilical cord blood of American infants.
Nine of 10 randomly selected samples of cord blood tested positive for BPA, an industrial petrochemical.

BPA has been implicated in a lengthening list of serious chronic disorders, including cancer, cognitive and behavioral impairments, endocrine system disruption, reproductive and cardiovascular system abnormalities, diabetes, asthma and obesity.

In all, the tests found as many as 232 chemicals in the 10 newborns, all of minority descent. The cord blood study has produced hard new evidence that American children are being exposed, beginning in the womb, to complex mixtures of dangerous substances that may have lifelong consequences.

And in a separate study, researchers found that complications of pregnancy, such as preterm labor, preterm birth, and infection were lowest in women with the highest vitamin D levels.

Blood levels of activated vitamin D usually rise during very early pregnancy, and some of it crosses the placenta to bathe the fetus, especially the developing fetal brain, in activated vitamin D. But many — in fact most — pregnant women do not make as much vitamin D as they need.

4,000 IU of vitamin D per day during pregnancy was found to be safe (not a single adverse event). However, this amount only resulted in a mean vitamin D blood level of 27 ng/ml in the newborn infants, indicating that even 4,000 IU per day during pregnancy is not enough.


Resources:

Mothering December 9, 2009
Environmental Working Group
New Research Findings Two December 3, 2009
National Institutes of Health

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News on Health & Science

Are Doctors Causing Infant Brain Damage by Clamping the Umbilical Cord Prematurely?

A newborn infant
Image via Wikipedia

Newborn lungs exist in a “compacted state” suitable for the womb. When the infant is born, the placenta and cord pulse for up to 20 minutes, delivering a burst of blood volume to the infant’s system. This blood burst is just what is needed for the lungs of the newborn to expand.

Unfortunately, many hospitals and doctors don’t understand the mechanics of this and are engaging in early umbilical cord clamping — often within one minute of birth.

Without the burst of blood from the placenta, the infant suffers a drop in blood pressure as its lungs fail to open as they should, creating a chain reaction of effects that can include brain damage and lung damage. Immediate cord clamping can cause hypotension, hypovolemia and infant anemia, resulting in cognitive deficits. Some have even theorized that the rise in autism could be linked at least in part to early cord clamping.

Reources:
*Gentle Birth
*Archives of Disease in Childhood — Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2008; 93: F77

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Umbilical Hernia

Definition :
An umbilical hernia is an outward bulging (protrusion) of the abdominal lining or part of the abdominal organ(s) through the area around the belly button

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An umbilical hernia is a protrusion of the peritoneum and fluid, omentum, or a portion of abdominal organ(s) through the umbilical ring. The umbilical ring is the fibrous and muscle tissue around the navel (belly-button). Small hernias usually close spontaneously without treatment by age 1 or 2. Umbilical hernias are usually painless and are common in infants.

UMBILICAL Hernias, and nearby hernias called “Paraumbilical Hernias” develop in and around the area of the umbilicus (belly button or navel). A Congenital (present since birth) weakness in the naval area exists. This was the area at which the vessels of the fetal and infant umbilical cord exited through the muscle of the abdominal wall. After birth, although the umbilical cord disappears (leaving just the dimpled belly-button scar), the weakness underneath may persist. Hernias can occur in this area of weakness at any time from birth through late adulthood. The signs and symptoms include pain at or near the navel area as well as the development of an associated bulge or navel deformity. This bulge pushes out upon the skin beneath or around the navel, distorting the normal contour and architecture in or around the navel (creating an ‘OUTIE’ instead of a normal ‘INNIE‘).
Although often appearing at or just after birth, these hernias can also occur at any time during later life. In INFANTS, these hernias may gradually close by age 3 or 4 and surgery can often be delayed until then, unless the hernias are causing problems or enlarging. This decision should be made after examination by a Pediatrician or skilled Surgeon. In ADULTS however, umbilical hernias cannot “heal”, and do gradually increase in size and often become problematic. Incarceration or Strangulation may occur….CLICK & SEE

Umbilical hernia is a congenital malformation, especially common in infants of African descent, and more frequent in boys. An Acquired umbilical hernia directly results from increased intra-abdominal pressure and are most commonly seen in obese individuals.

Causes:

Children:
Umbilical hernias are fairly common. Such a hernia is obvious at birth, as it pushes the belly button outward. This is more obvious when the infant cries, becauses increased pressure results in more noticable bulging.

In infants, the defect is not usually treated surgically. In most cases, by age 3 the umbilical hernia shrinks and closes without treatment.

Umbilical hernia repair may be necessary for children for the following reasons:

*The herniated tissue is stuck in the protruding position, or if blood supply is affected
*The defect has not closed by age 3 or 4
*The defect is very large or unacceptable to parents for cosmetic reasons
*An umbilical hernia in an infant occurs when the muscle through which blood vessels pass to feed the developing fetus doesn’t close completely.

Adults:
Umbilical or para-umbilical hernias are relatively common in adults. They are more common in overweight people and in women, especially after pregnancy. Most surgeons recommend they be surgically repaired, as they tend to get bigger ov

Without surgery, there is a risk that some abdominal contents, typically a bit of fat or intestine, will get stuck (incarcerated) in the hernia defect and become impossible to push back in, which is typically painful. If the blood supply is compromised (strangulation), urgent surgery is needed.

Incarcerated abdominal tissue may cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distension.

Any patient with a hernia that cannot be reduced, or pushed back in, while lying down and relaxed should seek urgent medical attention.

Symptoms
A hernia can vary in width from less than 1 centimeter to more than 5 centimeters.

There is a soft swelling over the belly button that often bulges when the baby sits up, cries, or strains. The bulge may be flat when the infant lies on the back and is quiet.

Risks Factors:
Risks for any anesthesia include the following:
*Strangulation of bowel tissue is rare but serious, and needs immediate surgery.
*Reactions to medications
*Breathing problems, pneumonia
*Heart problems

Risks for any surgery include the following:
*Bleeding
*Infection
*Risks specific to umbilical hernia surgery include injury to bowel, which is rare.

Diagnosis:
The doctor can find the hernia during a physical exam.

Treatment
Usually, no treatment is needed unless the hernia continues past age 3 or 4. In very rare cases, bowel or other tissue can bulge out and lose its blood supply (become strangulated). This is an emergency needing surgery.

Most umbilical hernia repairs are done on an outpatient basis, but some may require a short hospital stay if the hernia is very large. After surgery, the patient’s vital signs are monitored and he or she will remain in the recovery area until stable. Medication is supplied for pain as necessary. Patients, or parents if the patient is a child, are taught to care for the incision at home. Full activity can be resumed in 2-4 weeks.

Prognosis:

Most umbilical hernias get better without treatment by the time the child is 3 – 4 years old. Those that do not close may need surgery. Umbilical hernias are usually painless.

Expect successful repair of the hernia. The long-term prognosis is excellent. Very rarely the hernia will recur. Recurrence is more common if a larger hernia (more than 3 cm) is repaired without a mesh.

Recovery
Most umbilical hernia repairs are done on an outpatient basis, but some may require a short hospital stay if the hernia is very large.

After surgery, the health care team will monitor the patient’s vital signs. The patient will stay in the recovery area until stable. Pain medication is prescribed as needed.

Patients, or parents if the patient is a child, are taught to care for the surgical cut at home. Full activity can be resumed in 2-4 weeks.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://hernia.tripod.com/types.html
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000987.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002935.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbilical_hernia