"As hospitals cut maternity services, burden is on expectant mothers" by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Globe Staff March 27, 2018
TAUNTON — The pattern is playing out in other Massachusetts communities and across the country. The closures are creating challenges for patients — especially in poor and isolated communities — who no longer can rely on their local hospital for one of the most important periods of their lives.
Pregnant patients at Morton have been asked to travel about 20 miles farther to have their babies, at the Steward-owned Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton. That could pose a hardship in a city where poverty is higher and incomes are lower than they are statewide, and patients may lack easy access to transportation.
The decision to close maternity services at Morton Hospital has come under fire from some local residents, elected officials, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association, a labor union that represents nurses there. Officials at the state Department of Public Health determined that Morton’s maternity services are essential for the community and required hospital officials to file a plan detailing how patients would be affected, but they cannot stop the hospital from closing the unit.
The shift is occurring as the state’s birth rate falls. There were 71,484 births to Massachusetts mothers in 2015, the most recent year for which state data are available. That was down 0.5 percent from the previous year, and almost 23 percent from 1990, when there were 92,461 births.
Meanwhile, the costs of running hospital labor-and-delivery services 24 hours a day — the medical staff, the equipment — remain.
At Morton, the low numbers triggered another problem, hospital officials said: They could not find newborn specialists to work there.
“That makes it unsafe to deliver babies,” said Dr. Joseph Weinstein, chief medical officer at Steward, the for-profit company that owns dozens of hospitals in Massachusetts and other states.
In Lebanon, N.H., Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital — which averages less than one birth per day — will stop delivering babies this summer and direct patients instead to the much busier Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Fortunately for patients, that is only about 4 miles away.
Alice Peck Day’s chief executive, Dr. Susan Mooney, who trained as an obstetrician and delivered babies for many years before she became an executive, acknowledged the decision to close services was difficult.
“If I have my CEO hat on, I can tell you it was the right path for our organization,” she said. “If I put my OB hat on, it makes me very sad that we are not able to continue.”
The loss of maternity units is a particularly acute problem in rural areas.....
“It’s not a simple story, and there’s not a clear answer.”
That is the fear in Taunton.
Whatever you do, don't leave the kid in the car:
"Arizona mother arrested in deaths of baby, toddler found in car seats" Associated Press March 28, 2018
SUPERIOR, Ariz.— The mother of a baby and a toddler was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder after the children were found dead in car seats inside a car, officials said Tuesday.
The bodies were found outside the family’s home in the historic mining town of Superior, a community of about 2,900 people about 60 miles east of Phoenix. Autopsies were being conducted to determine causes of death of the 2-year-old boy and 10-month-old girl.
The mother was identified as Brittany Velasquez, 20. She was jailed, and authorities did not know whether she had a lawyer who could comment on the allegations, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Navideh Forghani. The names of the children were not immediately made public.
Some relatives of the children were inside the home when authorities went to crime scene late Monday night, but Forghani said she could not provide information about the circumstances of how the children were placed or left in the car or a motive into their killings.
Better off killing them in the womb:
"Fertility clinic: Alarm was turned off on failed embryo tank" Associated Press March 28, 2018
The clinic run by University Hospitals in suburban Cleveland does not know who shut off the alarm or why it happened, according to a letter sent to its patients.
The failure and a second one the same day at a fertility clinic in San Francisco were the biggest such losses on record in the US, causing centers around the nation to review their procedures. So far, there are no known connections between the failures.....
Time for your bath:
"Scientists now have the dirt on the rubber ducky: Those cute yellow bathtub toys are — as some parents have long suspected — a haven for nasty bugs. Swiss and American researchers counted the microbes swimming inside the toys and say the murky liquid released when ducks were squeezed contained ‘‘potentially pathogenic bacteria.’’
That's bad news for Ernie.
No more toys to play with:
"The liquidation of Toys “R” Us Inc. has stoked fears about how the toy industry will absorb the blow. But the shutdown of the company’s sister chain, Babies “R” Us, is setting off its own wave of disruption in the market for infant products. One of the biggest questions: What happens to all the customers who had baby registries at the soon-to-be-defunct retailer? As the company begins holding closeout sales and planning store closures, other retailers are scrambling to scoop up customers and capture their registries — a potentially lucrative prize. Buy Buy Baby Inc., Target Corp., and Amazon.com Inc. stand to benefit from the shake-up."
No concern about the privacy of infants, children, and their parents?
It's all Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in the media because the politicians are only concerned about their own elections when it comes to privacy violations.