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Uncovering a New York OB/GYN’s Decades-Long History of Malpractice Claims

Families devastated by the alleged malpractice of OB/GYN Dr. Thomas J. Byrne, whose New York medical license was revoked in 1991 due to charges such as gross negligence and incompetence, have faced ongoing distress as Dr. Byrne, despite obtaining subsequent medical licenses in New Mexico and Oklahoma, had his New York license reinstated in 2014. Numerous lawsuits and claims of negligence followed, including a lawsuit as recent as December 2020, highlighting systemic failures in oversight and regulatory mechanisms that allowed Dr. Byrne to practice and potentially endanger numerous lives.

Mothers who were injured or died under the care of a New York doctor have been reeling for decades.

California Lawmakers Take Aim to Combat Maternal Mortality Rates Among Black Mothers

To combat alarming maternal mortality rates, particularly among Black women in the United States, California lawmakers are addressing this crisis by working to enforce a 2020 law mandating anti-bias training for maternity care staff in CA hospitals.

While mothers across the nation continue to die during or shortly after childbirth, Black women experience the highest maternal mortality rate. The CDC reported that, in 2021, the maternal mortality rate among Black mothers was almost 70 deaths per 100,000 live births, 2 to 3 times higher than the maternal mortality rate for White mothers. Indeed, more women are dying due to childbirth complications in this country than the rest of the developed world.

A Look at the Maternal Health Crisis in Some of the States Struggling the Most

Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee are among the worst states to have a baby as the maternal and infant health crises grows

As the maternal health crisis continues around the nation, Arkansas has one of the worst maternal and infant death rates. Over the past several years, expectant mothers at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock have come in to deliver with high-risk pregnancies. In 2021, the state recorded the second-highest infant mortality rate in the country with 8.59 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the CDC. Mississippi had the highest rates, at 9.39 deaths per 1,000 live births that same year. Nationally, the rate was 5.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. Arkansas hospitals have unfortunately been closing over the past few years because they have become unprofitable, leaving new mothers little choice but to drive over an hour at times to have their babies.

One in Five Women Report Mistreatment in Their Maternity Care, CDC Study Finds

A recent CDC study reveals that one in five pregnant women experienced mistreatment during maternity care, with higher rates among Black, Hispanic, and multiracial women, as well as among those with public or no insurance. These findings highlight the need for more respectful maternity care to better address pregnancy-related complications and prevent maternal mortality in the U.S.

A new CDC study finds that one in five pregnant women say they were mistreated during their maternity care. While 20% may seem staggering enough, mistreatment rates were higher among Black, Hispanic, and multiracial women. Those with public insurance or no insurance reported higher rates of mistreatment as well, compared to women who had private insurance.

Cedars-Sinai Under Investigation Following Maternal Death Lawsuit

Following a 2022 lawsuit alleging denial of care based on race at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center—highlighting the ongoing crisis of maternal mortality in the U.S., with Black women facing a disproportionately higher risk due to systemic racism—CNN reports on an investigation initiated by the Department of Health and Human Services into the treatment of Black mothers during childbirth

CNN reported in mid-July 2023 on an investigation into the way Black mothers are treated while giving birth in the U.S. At the center of the probe is Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The investigation was initiated by the Department of Health and Human Services following a 2022 lawsuit filed by a man whose wife died after a planned C-section at Cedars-Sinai. She bled internally despite her husband’s efforts to ask for help in the hospital. The suit alleges that the mother was denied care due to her race—a violation of her civil rights.

New Blood Test Predicts Severity of Preeclampsia

Doctors and researchers have developed a blood test to predict preeclampsia early on in a woman’s pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous hypertensive (high blood pressure) condition affecting pregnant women. While some women who develop preeclampsia experience no symptoms, complications from preeclampsia may result in maternal and/or fetal injury, including organ damage, preterm delivery, and, in severe cases, death.

U.S. Olympian Tragically Dies Following Childbirth Complications

Olympic medalist Tori Bowie was one of Team USA’s fastest women, winning three medals at the 2016 Rio games and becoming a world champion by the end of 2017. Once the epitome of health, the 32-year old athlete was approximately 8 months pregnant when she was found dead at in her home earlier this month. The cause of her death is presently unknown; however, officials suspect Bowie may have experienced respiratory distress and eclampsia, which is characterized by seizures following a sudden spike in a woman’s blood pressure during pregnancy.

Toddler to Receive Stem Cell Therapy From Brother’s Cord Blood

After being diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age two, a toddler in the UK may soon be able to walk. The girl was deprived of oxygen at birth, and suffered a seizure shortly thereafter. As a result, she is nonverbal and her mobility is limited. Cerebral palsy has no cure, but certain therapies can help manage symptoms—and for this little fighter, a promising treatment is on the horizon.

Research Program Aims to Prevent, Early Diagnose and Treat Neonatal Brachial Plexus Injuries

A new graduate and undergraduate study program at Widener University aims to help doctors understand neonatal brachial plexus injuries that may occur during the birthing process. Dr. Anita Sing, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the school’s bioengineering department, is leading the research, which is geared toward helping diagnose and treat the injury.