The specialists began to use terms such as "quality of life" to describe all the things she was likely to be without. My husband, Michael, realized it was going to be nearly impossible to pry me away from her bedside. He asked what he could bring me from home: a change of clothes, sweater, food, or something to read? I asked him to bring me anything by Anne McCaffrey."Changes Without Notice" is one reader's personal essay about discovering a book at just the right moment. An afterword in Dragonwriter says a little more about how things turned out. [Via and previously.]
Because of nationwide shortages, Washington hospitals are rationing, hoarding, and bartering critical nutrients premature babies and other patients need to survive. Doctors are reporting conditions normally seen only in developing countries, and there have been deaths. How could this be allowed to happen?[more inside]
"Premature babies born at the edge of viability force us to debate the most difficult questions in medicine and in life. After just 23 weeks of pregnancy, Kelley Benham found herself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a daughter born so early neonatologist doctors would call her a "micro preemie." New technologies can sometimes keep micro preemies alive, but many end up disabled, some catastrophically so. Whether to provide care to these infants is one of the fundamental controversies in neonatology. This is the story of how Benham and her husband, Tom French, made the difficult choice: Fight for the life of their micro preemie baby or let her go?" [more inside]
A typical full term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Premature babies are those born before 37 weeks. Worldwide, 13 million babies are born premature. In the United States, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely. Prematurity can lead to a host of lifelong cognitive, respiratory, vision, and digestive problems. November 17 is World Prematurity Day, devoted to raising awareness of the problems of as well as prevention of pre-term births. [more inside]
"It's going to be okay. I was raised by a single mom, and I turned out just fine." A young doctor in NYC writes a moving post about her observations in the neonatal intensive care unit.