Mondays with your MD – Women’s Rights to Reproductive Health Care in 2022

2022-07-03T18:04:48+00:00July 3rd, 2022|Adults, Family Practice, Health Care, Pregnancy, Public Health|

I am grateful today that I live in Illinois, but I do not believe access to health care should depend on where a woman is residing within the US. The disruption to appropriate health care for women has caused chaos in caring for women who are pregnant, and ultimately will lead to preventable deaths of women that will affect the entire nation for generations.

People misunderstand the far-reaching consequences of the ruling by believing abortion to be a simple elective decision to terminate a “normal” pregnancy. This ruling, in fact, threatens the fundamental health care rights of women. It demonstrates HOW IMPORTANT the physician-patient relationship is and why neither government nor insurance companies have any place making health-care decisions.

Reverting to state level laws from early 1900s, immediately following this ruling, has put numerous physicians in an impossible situation wondering how to legally provide appropriate care for their patients. In Utah, for example, the law describes the delivery of anything except a dead fetus as an abortion. Women who are severely infected or hemorrhaging as a complication of pregnancy, with a fetus that has a heartbeat but cannot survive outside of the uterus, have routinely been treated by terminating pregnancy as the standard of care… until now. With the change in law, instead of terminating the fetus and sparing the life of the woman, there will be an additional preventable loss of life. The lives of women will be lost.

In some states, immediately following the ruling, physicians were asked to contact the legal department prior to caring for patients appropriately….this simple delay in care can cost the life of a woman who is hemorrhaging from an ectopic non-viable pregnancy in an emergency care situation.

The supreme court decision eliminates equitable and safe access to medical care and will ultimately lead to higher maternal mortality rates in the US. There is absolutely no space for third parties, government bodies nor insurance companies, in the delivery of health care. These decisions must be made DIRECTLY between patients and their physicians.

“The American Medical Association is deeply disturbed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn nearly a half century of precedent protecting patients’ right to critical reproductive healthcare—representing an egregious allowance of government intrusion into the medical examination room, a direct attack on the practice of medicine and the patient-physician relationship, and a brazen violation of patients’; rights to evidence-based reproductive health services. States that end legal abortion will not end abortion—they will end safe abortion, risking devastating consequences, including patients’ lives….

We will always have physicians’ backs and defend the practice of medicine, we will fight to protect the patient-physician relationship, and we will oppose any law or regulation that compromises or criminalizes patient access to safe, evidence-based medical care, including abortion. As the health of millions of patients hangs in the balance, this is a fight we will not give up.”

Mondays with your MD: Formula Shortage

2022-06-25T21:22:11+00:00June 25th, 2022|Families, Family Medicine, Public Health|

Formula Shortage

Recently I had a patient reach out to let me know she was unable to locate the formula she routinely provided to her baby. She let me know she was considering feeding her baby with breastmilk from a friend and was concerned about allergens in some of the other formula products.

Nothing is as important to families as the health and safety of their babies. The formula shortage has left many anxious about how to feed them. My guess is that many are thinking about a similar solution. I thought I would share a few recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Consider trying a brand new formula
  • Consider trying a formula made in another country
  • Talk to your physician about substitutes for hypoallergenic or specialty forumulas (as was the case in the above example)

OPTIONS for HOW to FEED YOUR BABY SAFELY

  • Consider discussing using whole cow’s milk if baby is over 6mo
  • If baby is close to one year discuss with physician options for toddler drinks
  • Consider using local milk bank

AVOID these options

DO NOT share breast milk with friends or purchase on the internet. There are significant infectious disease and storage safety risks

DO NOT water down formula

DO NOT make it at home

DO NOT use expired formula

If you are having difficulty finding formula and solutions please reach out to your physician.

Mondays with Your MD: Gun Violence – A Public Health Epidemic

2022-05-29T22:40:56+00:00May 29th, 2022|Community, Public Health|

Firearms are the leading cause of death in children in the United States. Firearm deaths are completely preventable and occur at a rate more than 5x higher than drownings.


Prevention is key…
As with any health-related problem, prevention through education is a critical component. Firearms are present in 1/3 of households with children.
  • The best way to keep children safe is to NOT have a gun in the home.
  • If it is necessary to keep a gun in the home safe storage is critical. Guns should be kept unloaded and ammunition should be stored separately. Both should be locked and inaccessible.
  • Parents can speak to caregivers in homes where young children are visiting about guns in the homes where they play.
  • Talk to older kids about guns and safety.

In almost every documented case of active shooters, there were warning signs. In 4 out of 5 school shootings at least one other person had knowledge of attackers plan but failed to report it.

9 critical warning signs of violence:

  1. Suddenly withdrawing from friends, family and activities (including online or via social media)
  2. Bullying, especially if targeted towards differences in race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
  3. Excessive irritability, lack of patience, or becoming angry quickly
  4. Experiencing chronic loneliness or social isolation
  5. Expressing persistent thoughts of harming themselves or someone else
  6. Making direct threats toward a place, another person, or themselves
  7. Bragging about access to guns or weapons
  8. Recruiting accomplices or audiences for an attack
  9. Directly expressing a threat as a plan

Advocacy to protect children from gun-violence needs to occur a national level to have meaningful impact.

States with stronger gun laws have less gun violence overall. However, Chicago borders states outside of IL with fewer gun control laws.

Basic measure such as stopping assault weapon sales and advocating for high-capacity magazine limits, alongside ammunition regulation, and required background checks are all important. Increasing gun manufacturer liability is also critical.

Visit https://www.everytown.org/ to learn more about how you can work towards limiting gun violence.

No waiting. Healthcare delivered when you need it.