July 29, 2021
Nurse-Midwives SmartBrief
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Maternal Health
Bariatric surgery was linked to a 35% reduced risk for cesarean section; a 40% reduced risk for gestational diabetes; a 47% reduced risk for preeclampsia; a 55% reduced risk for infection of the fluid and membranes surrounding the baby in the uterus; and a 76% reduced risk of having a baby much larger than average for gestational age, researchers reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. However, the findings, based on data involving over 20,000 women, also showed that bariatric surgery was linked to a 79% increased risk for postpartum hemorrhage and a 146% increased risk for small-for-gestational-age birth.
Full Story: HealthDay News (7/27) 
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign a bill establishing universal home nurse visits. Up to three free wellness checks will be offered within the first three months, regardless of insurance status or income, in an effort to reduce maternal mortality rates -- which are particularly high for Black women -- by 50% over 5 years.
Full Story: The New York Times (7/29),  The Hill (7/29) 
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Women's Health & Primary Care
A survey by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health found that 39% of parents of youths ages 12 to 18 said their child had already received a COVID-19 vaccine, 21% said that it is likely their child will get a vaccine, while 40% said they were unlikely to get a vaccine. The survey, involving over 2,000 parents, also showed that 38% of parents with low incomes said their child is likely to get a vaccine, compared with 60% of those with higher incomes.
Full Story: HealthDay News (7/26) 
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Researchers analyzed the breast MRI scan result of an asymptomatic female patient who had her second COVID-19 vaccine dose in her left arm six days before screening and found no suspicious enhancement in her left breast, with morphologically abnormal high level II/III axillary lymph nodes and normal low level I axillary lymph nodes. "Identifying this pattern of unilateral axillary adenopathy in the setting of ipsilateral COVID-19 vaccine administration and a negative screening breast MRI allows one to confidently give a benign assessment in keeping with a pragmatic approach," study authors wrote in Clinical Imaging.
Full Story: Diagnostic Imaging (7/27) 
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The number of influenza cases in the US during the 2020-2021 flu season fell to the lowest level since the CDC started tracking the metric in 1997, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Fewer than 1% of more than 1.1 million specimens obtained from patients with influenza-like symptoms tested positive for flu between October 2020 and May 2021, and the agency attributes the decline to COVID-19 prevention measures.
Full Story: United Press International (7/22) 
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The supplemental biologics license application for Merck's immunotherapy Keytruda, or pembrolizumab, was approved by the FDA as a neoadjuvant therapy for early-stage, high-risk, triple-negative breast cancer in combination with chemotherapy. The drug is now approved in the US as a treatment for 30 types of cancer.
Full Story: The Hill (7/27),  Cancer Network (7/27) 
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Infant Health
Individuals who were born small for gestational age exhibited limited exercise capacity and minor differences in right ventricular geometry at rest, compared with controls, researchers reported in JAMA Cardiology. The findings were based on data from 158 young adults.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (7/28) 
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Physicians at the University of Mississippi turned to asynchronous telehealth for clinical genetic consultations for patients in the neonatal intensive care unit. The study was driven by the reduction of genetic services.
Full Story: Nature (free content)/Journal of Perinatology (7/23),  DocWire News (7/24) 
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Professional News
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., introduced the Support Through Loss Act to help people who have had a miscarriage and provide three days of paid leave for people who have experienced a pregnancy loss or have unsuccessfully tried adoption, surrogacy or an assisted reproductive procedure. "We want to be very clear that loss is loss and people deserve the time to deal with that loss," Duckworth said.
Full Story: National Public Radio (7/25),  Vox (7/20) 
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Majorities, of course, start with minorities.
Bob Moses,
civil rights activist, educator
1935-2021
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