Toxic Epidural Leaves One Mother on Her Death Bed and Another Paralyzed for Life

While we know about the risks of birthing in a hospital such as the known side effects of interventions, I wonder how many medical accidents affect birthing woman?  And how would we find out about them?

This link leads to a story about a mother who was accidently administered an antiseptic into her spine during labour. She is currently dying and there is nothing that is known that can help her. Another woman who also fell victum to this mistake was administered way less and was left paralyzed for life.

We must really look at the truth about hospital birth. It comes with it’s own increased risks and does not guarantee a safe outcome for mother and baby (the way we are commonly led to believe that it does). Rarely, if ever, do parents weigh in hospital negligence or accidents when choosing to birth in the hospital-just in case.

“Epidural administration of chlorhexidine – used to clean skin before injections and strong enough to neutralise resistant hospital bacteria – is so rare that Ms Wang’s doctors have identified only one other case.

Angelique Sutcliffe, from Britain, was paralysed for life after the chemical entered her epidural in 2001. But this was just a droplet – a fraction of the eight millilitres infused into Ms Wang.”

http://www.theage.com.au/national/toxic-epidural-ravages-mother-20100820-1390i.html

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Vit.K- Are Babies born Deficient? or Do Modern Life and Current Birthing Practices Create the very Problem that Vit.K supplementation is supposed to Solve?

So the question has been asked at Birth Without Fear: Vit.K…yes? no? why?
http://www.facebook.com/#!/birthwithoutfear

Well, I was about to give my two sense, when I remembered that I wrote about this at length in response to a post at Homebirth: A Midwife Mutiny written by Lisa Barrett (which is a fantastic blog by the way and I recommend that you read her whole article and thread on this topic!)
http://www.homebirth.net.au/2008/03/vitamin-k.html

Lisa writes,

“This brings us to the action of the third stage in all of this. If the placenta isn’t detached from the baby until after it has birthed then there is an equalisation of the blood passing to and from the placenta: this creates just the right amount of transfer of all the cells required. There is a higher haematocrit which essentially makes the blood thicker and stickier. Isn’t this the natural way to prevent bleeding in the newborn until vit K can be made by the gut flora and what is in breast milk can be absorbed by the baby. This is a good reason not to interfere with the third stage. Even cutting the cord when it doesn’t seem to be pulsing isn’t a guarantee that the natural process has taken place, and I believe that the potential for complications due to that can cause bleeding issues for the mother if cut before placenta is out.”

While I don`t profess to know the ultimate truth here or have the final answer on this subject, I sure do have a lot of questions.

First of all, I think that Lisa`s point is a poignant one and probably  the most important consideration here.

As well, would it not be possible that while we are also “creating” this “deficiency” of adequate Vit.K (by cutting the cord too soon and not enabling baby to have “thicker and stickier blood”), but we might also want to ask, “how much Vit. K is stored in that 1/3 or more missing blood supply“ when the cord is cut before it stops pulsating (as is done in hospitals and even with some homebirth midwives….gasp!)?

Could synthetic Vit.K whether injected or given orally be essentially like a “drug” only treating the symptom of mismanaged birth? If that is the case, then the root cause of vitamin K deficiency at birth, is not being addressed-that of interrupting normal third stage physiology.

It is now culturally acceptable in most places to use synthetic vitamins, but are we really just taking part in a huge experiment with our bodies and with our babies? Just today an article was published that showed that women supplementing with Calcium were at greater risk of heart attacks and that they aren`t effectively increasing their bone density either! 
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100804/health/health_disease_heart_calcium

Have we forgotten that vitamins and minerals work synergistically, and are (provided in nature with many co-nutrients), many of which haven’t even been discovered? How arrogant can we be to assume that we have this whole vitamin thing figured out?….I mean, really, we didn`t even know that vitamins exsisted until 1911 and now we are injecting them into our babies’ bloodstream? Is it not the way of vitamins and minerals to enter the body via food and first through the digestive tract before they hit the portal vein to enter the blood stream? Eating Vit.K in it’s natural form is one thing and then synthesizing it (from who knows what kind of raw materials) and then injecting it via the skin is another.  

And then there is the question of the modern diet and it’s deficiencies.

How does the mother’s Vit.K status affect the newborn’s status at birth? Is baby’s Vit. K status limited, because mother has less than optimal levels herself?

Does the average pregnant woman really eat a lot of greens, just because she is told they are good for her?

As well, many of us have imbalanced and inadequate beneficial intestinal micro flora… we can make our own Vit.K, but are we doing this optimally when we have more “bad” bacteria in our guts, than good bacteria?

And we pass on either our balanced or imbalanced microflora to baby….does this impact the speed at which baby starts producing adequate Vit.K?

So my long drawn out point is, why not attend to our digestive health and microflora, learn how to add greens to our diet in way that tastes good and drink infusions of Alfalfa or other vitamin K rich nutritive herbs (at the very least during the last month of our pregnancies) along with choosing a place of birth and care provider who we can trust to leave our baby’s cord intact at least for the first hour after birth.

In my mind at least, this is a logical, preventative and proactive approach.

As well, according to the research that I have been doing in regards to delayed cord cutting, it seems possible that immediate cord cutting itself may contribute the to heamorrhage that Vit.k is supposed to protect our baby’s from. So instead of worrying about using Vit.K or not, we should be looking at other contributing factors as to why a baby might bleed, such as trauma at birth, as well practices such as immediate cord cutting, should we not?

Here is another useful reference:

Judith Mercer writes:
“Infants in the delayed cord clamping group were found to have fewer incidences of any level of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) defined by the reports of cranial ultrasounds routinely ordered during the first 28 days in the NICU. The incidence of IVH was equally divided between the stratified groups (ICC 7/7, DCC 2/2) although the majority occurred in infants less than 30 weeks gestation. One infant in the DCC group was a protocol violation, meaning that the cord was clamped prior to 30 seconds in violation of the study protocol. In addition, infants in the DCC group were less likely to have blood culture-proven (confirmed) sepsis during the NICU stay.
http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/?tag=umbilical-cord-clamping

Expanding our thinking to have a systems view of the question itself, allows us to have a much broader perspective. When we look at all the possible factors involved, we just might find that the whole problem does not really even exist in the natural course of things, except that we make it so.

Birth Trauma

A very informative and insightful list of common birth traumas that cause subluxations with the potential to create long term dysfunction on the developing person’s nervous system.

“The following areas are important to address during pregnancy and birth to detect potential sources of fetal intrauterine stress prior to labor, stressing the passage of the fetus during labor, and management at the time of birth.”

http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/16/15/10.html

Natural Birthing Class Online