Health Scan

New technique lessens risks for breech birth.

March 11, 2006 22:58
2 minute read.
Health Scan

breech birth 88. (photo credit: )


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Fetuses in the breech position face special dangers, so obstetricians are keen to change their position to avoid a cesarean section. Now the Helen Schneider Women's Hospital at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus has opened a new clinic that specializes in moving fetuses using a new technique that requires a regional anesthetic; the success rate is between 30 and 60%; it's expected to eliminate the need for 150 cesareans each year. When a woman reaches the clinic, she is presented with two choices - either manual manipulation of the abdomen (with a drug to relax the uterine muscles) or manual manipulation under regional anesthesia in the operating room. The second type raises the success rate because the uterine muscles are much more relaxed. In addition, the woman suffers none of the pain that's involved in the first procedure. Prof. Moshe Hod, director of the high-risk pregnancy unit and head of the new clinic, says: "The uniqueness of the clinic is in the team of specialists who have been trained how to do it under ultrasound guidance. It takes a few minutes, and if it fails, a senior physician performs a cesarean." WHAT'S IN THE JACUZZI WITH YOU? Attention jacuzzi users: That water you're soaking in could be some of the nastiest in the world. A study by a Texas A&M University microbiologist shows that whirlpool baths can be a breeding ground for dozens of types of bacteria, many of them potential pathogens. Microbiologist Moyes tested 43 water samples from jacuzzis - both private and public - and found that all 43 had bacterial growth ranging from mild to red-level dangerous. A whopping 95% showed the presence of fecal derived bacteria, while 81% had fungi and 34% contained staphylococcus, which can cause deadly staph infections. The lesson learned: Enter a whirlpool at your own risk, and it may be a considerable one. The main reason is the lining of the pipes. They are full of inaccessible air, and water in these pipes tends to get trapped, often for long periods. When the jets are switched on, this water, with its harmful bacteria, gets blown into the tub where a person is soaking. To get some idea of how many bacteria are in whirlpool tub pipes, Moyes says a teaspoon of tap water contains an average of 138 bacteria, with many samples not having any at all. But the same teaspoon of whirlpool tub water contains an average of more than 2.17 million bacteria! She adds that such harmful bacteria can lead to numerous diseases, among them urinary tract infections, septicemia, pneumonia and several types of skin infection. Because of the mist created by the whirlpool's action, microbes are also forced into the lungs or open cuts, she explains. One type of bacteria can cause Legionnaire's Disease. Moyes says that as long ago as 1972, studies were done to test the bacteria levels in whirlpool baths and hot tubs, but evidence collected has often not shown sufficient reasons for concern. "That's probably because a hot tub or whirlpool as a source of infection can't be clearly distinguished from other sources," she adds. "An example might be when you develop a respiratory infection. The doctor can tell you that you do have a respiratory infection, but he or she can't tell you how you got it. "The best way to control such bacteria is to clean out the pipes," she adds. "The pipes need to be scraped and cleaned just like you need to brush your teeth."

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