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A vitamin may reduce premature birth problem in South Carolina

Recent reports listed South Carolina as one of the states in which newborns are most at risk. Support for this conclusion came, in part, from the fact that 80 infants died in 2013 due to premature birth or because their weight at birth was too low.

Researchers have now concluded that taking vitamin D during pregnancy might not eliminate risk of serious injury to a newborn during the delivery process or after, but it appears to lower the incidence of premature birth. As part of an ongoing study of the effects of the vitamin when given during pregnancy, 500 women are being offered free vitamin D in exchange for their consent to having their blood levels monitored.

A doctor, who has conducted research on the effectiveness of vitamin D when taken during pregnancy, pointed out how times have changed. Today, doctors are being told to prescribe vitamin D supplements to their pregnant patients, but a decade ago, the federal government was still adhering to scientific research from after World War II linking the vitamin to birth defects.

The change in the perception of vitamin D from something to be avoided by women during pregnancy to a method for lowering premature birth rates demonstrates how important it is for doctors to remain up to date on the latest research and scientific studies. Mistakes by a negligent doctor during the delivery process may cause serious injury to the infant, but physicians who fail to take advantage of the latest scientific breakthroughs in treating women during pregnancy might also be the cause of injuries to the mother and to the newborn.

If a woman suspects that a negligent doctor might be the cause of injuries to her or birth injuries to her child, she should seek legal advice and guidance from a medical malpractice attorney.

Source: Post and Courier, "MUSC, partner offering free vitamin D to some expectant moms to help lover risk of preterm births," Lauren Sausser, March 29, 2015

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