Unborn baby girl receives blood transfusion at just 17 WEEKS
23 August 2005
An unborn baby who developed a rare blood condition has become one of the youngest children to receive a blood transfusion, the BBC reports.
Ruby Doland was 17-weeks gestation when she was given the transfusion into the umbilical cord at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, London, to treat a condition called Rh immunisation, which causes the mother's antibodies to break down the baby's red blood cells.
A needle was inserted into her umbilical cord to give her blood to stop her developing anaemia and heart failure. Ruby needed another four transfusions at the foetal care unit at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in west London during the pregnancy although for these a needle was injected into a vessel in the liver.
Ruby has since been born and is doing well. [BBC, 22 August]
US Democrats shy away from attacking Roberts over abortion
Leading Democrats in America plan to oppose Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts on the grounds of his civil rights record but not on abortion, as they consider that the issue is too controversial and would not gain them support.
Senate Democratic aides have said that they do not wish to be drawn into a "losing battle on the treacherous turf of abortion, race and religion". However, some Democrats feel that avoiding these sensitive issues could make the Democrats appear weak.
The debate over Roberts' opinion on abortion continues as it was revealed that he has never written a legal opinion as a judge on the issue of abortion. [Medical News Today, 23 August]
The European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Spidla, has warned that population decline is seriously affecting more than a fifth of European regions. By 2030, the number of working age people will have dropped by 21 million while the number of people over 65 will have risen by more than 39 million. Spidla estimated that economic growth could fall to just 1% a year. [AAPS Online, 16 August]
American researchers at Harvard University have discovered a possible alternative to human cloning for research purposes. This involves reprogramming adult stem cells by fusing them with embryonic stem cells so that they return to an embryonic state. This technique would not require an embryo to be created but would still involve destructive research on human embryos. [Financial Times, 23 August]