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Posted on September 4, 2018 by secretangel
Abusing a child… is something we never want to see… but it happens often… in so many a family.
Number of Opioid-Addicted Women
Giving Birth Quadruples
By Dennis Thompson
The number of pregnant women addicted to opioids as they give birth has more than quadrupled since 1999, a disturbing new report shows.
In 2014, for every 1,000 hospital deliveries, 6.5 were mothers who arrived at the hospital with opioid use disorder, up from 1.5 per 1,000 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found.
This increase is likely linked to America’s ongoing opioid epidemic, said study co-author Jean Ko, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s division of reproductive health.
“With the opioid overdose epidemic, it’s natural to see increases in opioid use disorder among the general population,” Ko said. “Our data tell us that women presenting for labor and delivery are no different.
Opioid use during pregnancy has been tied to maternal death during delivery, stillbirth and preterm birth, the CDC researchers noted.
Even babies born healthy might have to go through opioid withdrawal, a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
Babies with NAS can experience tremors, convulsions, seizures, difficulty feeding, breathing problems, fever, diarrhea and trouble sleeping, according to the March of Dimes.
The CDC study used data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, focusing on 28 states with at least three years of data available for analysis.
Between 1999 and 2014, all 28 states saw significant increases in opioid-addicted pregnant women entering labor.
Vermont and West Virginia had the most cases of opioid-affected pregnancies in 2014. Vermont had 48.6 cases for every 1,000 deliveries; West Virginia had 32.1 cases per 1,000. On the low-end, Nebraska had 1.2 cases per 1,000 and the District of Columbia had 0.7 per 1,000.
The average annual rate increases were highest in Maine, New Mexico, Vermont and West Virginia. Those states all had growth of more than 2.5 cases per 1,000 each year — six times higher than the national average of 0.4 cases per 1,000.
The states with the lowest increases were California and Hawaii, with fewer than 0.1 new cases per 1,000 each year.
The new information “is very alarming and is a call to arms regarding this national health crisis,” said Dr. Mitchell Kramer, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.
“We are well aware of the association of opioid exposure and abuse with adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm labor and delivery, stillbirth, neonatal withdrawal syndrome and maternal mortality,” he said.
But Ko said concerns about babies with NAS should not dissuade pregnant women from taking medicines appropriately prescribed to treat chronic medical disorders, or from taking medications like methadone or buprenorphine that aid in addiction treatment.
The CDC recommends a number of strategies for countering this dangerous trend:
Making sure opioids are prescribed appropriately.
Strengthening state-level prescription drug monitoring programs.
Requiring substance abuse screening at the first prenatal visit, as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Ensuring that pregnant women with opioid use disorder have access to addiction therapy, and that new opioid-addicted mothers receive postpartum care that includes mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Kramer pointed out that “the implications of this startling CDC data are that coordinated national, state and provider efforts are necessary to prevent, monitor and treat opioid use disorder among reproductive-aged and pregnant women.”
The report was published in the Aug. 10 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Gardens cops who saved choking baby at mall are ‘angels,’ mom says
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – Two Palm Beach Gardens police officers are heroes to a panicked mom whose 14-month-old daughter turned blue while choking on a chicken nugget at The Gardens Mall two weeks ago.
Lucia Graham has been eating solid food — and a lot of it — since she was 9 months old, but on that afternoon, the chicken nugget she was chomping on got wedged in her throat, mom Ana Graham said. The Wellington mother of two could tell right away that something was wrong.
“On her second bite, I noticed she looked at me with her eyes wide open. She started turning red,” she said.
She yanked Lucia from her stroller and patted her on the back like the pediatrician taught her, but to no avail. Lucia started turning blue.
Then, “like angels from heaven,” two Palm Beach Gardens police officers who had been sitting across the food court appeared, she said.
Officer Robert Ayala, who had been assigned to the mall July 21, saw Ana Graham “frantically” get up and go to the stroller minutes after the family sat down. He ran up and grabbed the baby, put her face down on his left hand and struck her upper back with his palm a few times. Then he swept her mouth with his finger.
The stubborn chicken nugget remained stuck until Ayala forcefully patted little Lucia on her back again. That’s when she finally spewed out the mushy nugget.
As the ordeal was unfolding, Officer Rafael Guadalupe immediately got on his radio to call for Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue and talked to Ana Graham to try to keep her calm.
Ayala said he usually likes to walk around the mall so that people see him in uniform as a crime deterrent. He was at the food court only because Guadalupe was there for lunch.
“It was just the right place at the right time,” he said.
Palm Beach Gardens police undergo CPR and first aid training — including how to respond to choking adults and infants — at least every other year, department spokesman Maj. Paul Rogers said. Ayala credits his training for his quick response.
“This thing happened so fast, you didn’t have time to react. It’s just like muscle memory,” said Ayala, a father of three.
The Palm Beach Gardens City Council honored Ayala and Guadalupe Thursday night. Ayala previously received a life-saving award for forming a human chain with other officers to save two firefighters who got trapped in a rip-current effect as they attempted to rescue a young man who drowned in a spillway while wake-skating.
As for Lucia, paramedics checked her out as a precaution. The scare didn’t stop her from finishing her lunch.
Lucia’s 2 1/2-year-old brother, William, unfazed by the incident, continued eating his chicken and french fries.
Dad Curt Graham got a very long text message while he was at work, “which is never a good thing.” He called his wife, who was shaken up as she recounted what happened.
He’s “eternally grateful for the fast action,” he said.
For the second time, Baltimore man is
charged in the death of a Child
BALTIMORE, MD – The two baby boys died five years apart, both of them bruised and beaten.
Seven-month-old Kendall Brown suffered fractured ribs and bleeding in his brain in December 2012. Then 18-month-old Zaray Gray died with a broken clavicle and internal injuries last week.
The father of the first child, a Baltimore man who spent almost three years in prison for his son’s death, has been charged in the death of the second child, his girlfriend’s son.
Francois Browne, 35, of Woodbourne Heights, was charged Saturday with murder in the death of Zaray Gray. Browne remains held without bail.
Online court records did not list an attorney for him.
The second case against Browne has focused attention to the prison sentence he received after his son’s death. After Browne was convicted of child abuse resulting in death, Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory sentenced him to 15 years in prison with all but four years suspended.
Browne served two years and 11 months in prison.
“This guy should still be in jail,” said Dr. Dylan Stewart, director of pediatric trauma at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “The penalties are far too lenient.”
Recent years have brought an uptick in the number of children killed in Baltimore by a parent or guardian. While there were two such deaths reported in 2007, there were at least eight in 2016, according to the latest report by the Baltimore City Child Fatality Review Team. More than 40 children have been killed by a guardian in the last decade, according to the city health department.
“I have a huge amount of concern for the level of child abuse in Baltimore,” Stewart said. “Murdering a child should not have a different penalty than pulling the trigger and murdering an adult.”
One youth advocate said the case could spur efforts to tighten a new law aimed at alerting social services agencies if someone becomes a parent after being convicted of killing a child.
The new law, which takes effect Oct. 1, requires courts to notify the state health department when someone is convicted of the murder, attempted murder or manslaughter of a child. Later, if a birth certificate lists that person as being the parent of a newborn, the local social services department is to be notified so officials can provide an assessment of the family and offer services if needed.
Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of the nonprofit group Advocates for Children and Youth, said the law is aimed at protecting children whose parents have killed or seriously harmed a child in the past.
But a limitation, she said, is that it applies only to people convicted of three crimes: murder, attempted murder and manslaughter. That means it wouldn’t kick in for someone convicted of child abuse, even in a case that resulted in death.
Another limitation is that the law would alert authorities only if the convicted person became a parent, not if someone simply was a caretaker of a child. The law matches court records with birth records.
Bevan-Dangel said the law might need to be broadened to cover more scenarios. “Potentially there is more work to be done on this statute to make sure it’s is casting the right-size safety net,” she said.
Meanwhile, the deepening opioid epidemic has heightened concerns about child abuse in Baltimore. In March, Anne Kirsch, 37, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after police found her infant son beaten, starved and dead at 9 days old. She admitted to using heroin during her pregnancy and on the night before her son died.
Browne’s son was hospitalized on New Year’s Eve 2012 with bleeding in his brain. Doctors pronounced the baby brain dead three days later. Browne had been alone with his son the night the boy was hospitalized, police wrote in charging documents. Browne was convicted of child abuse resulting in death.
He was released from prison in December 2015, officials said. He also received five years of probation.
On Wednesday night, police found 1½-year-old Zaray Gray injured in a home in the West Forest Park neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore. Browne had taken the boy and two other children to the playground earlier that day, police wrote in charging documents.
Once home, they wrote, Zaray began throwing up. Officers wrote that Browne told them he was alone with the boy in the home while the other children played outside. He heard the boy moaning and later that night the child stopped breathing, officers wrote.
Doctors found bruises on the boy’s face, chin, neck and mouth. The boy’s left clavicle was broken, police said.
Browne told police the boy had fallen while going down a sliding board, bumping his head and back.
Doctors also found tears to his bowels, police wrote, “likely caused by multiple blows to the abdomen.”
Mother, her boyfriend sentenced in boy’s “beyond animalistic” Child Abuse death
LOS ANGELES, CA – A judge sentenced a California mother to life in prison Thursday and gave her boyfriend the death penalty in the “beyond animalistic” killing of the woman’s 8-year-old son, who prosecutors say was punished because the couple believed he was gay.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli told the couple that he hopes they wake up in the middle of the night and think of the injuries they inflicted on 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez of Palmdale.
“I can only wish … that it tortures you,” the judge said.
Gabriel was repeatedly beaten, starved, tied up, locked in a cabinet, shot with a BB gun and once had his teeth knocked out with a bat, the judge said. Court records also detailed that Gabriel had been doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth to muffle his screams, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“It is unimaginable the pain that this boy probably endured,” Lomeli said.
The boy also had a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns across his body.
“It goes without saying that the conduct was horrendous and inhumane and nothing short of evil,” Lomeli said. “It’s beyond animalistic because animals know how to take care of their young.”
Gabriel’s mother, 34-year-old Pearl Fernandez, pleaded guilty to murder in February in the death of her son in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, reports CBS Los Angeles. A jury found her boyfriend, 37-year-old Isauro Aguirre, guilty of murder last year and found that he intentionally tortured the boy.
Fernandez called 911 on May 22, 2013, to report that her son wasn’t breathing. She told responding deputies that he had fallen and hit his head on a dresser.
When paramedics arrived, they found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin.
He died two days later of blunt-force trauma and neglect, the coroner’s office found.
Gabriel’s siblings testified that Fernandez and Aguirre would call the boy gay, punish him if he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls’ clothes to school.
Gabriel’s first-grade teacher, Jennifer Garcia, tearfully addressed the court ahead of Thursday’s sentencing, saying she thinks of him every day and how he just wanted to be loved.
“I find comfort in believing he is now at peace,” Garcia said. “And I know that unlike him, his abusers will never have peace. They will have a lifetime of suffering to endure, and I know I’m not alone in hoping they experience the same abuse in their lifetime and worse. They are evil people for what they did.”
Gabriel’s biological father, who is serving time for robbery, was also present at the sentencing hearing, but declined to speak. He watched the sentencing from his cell, reports CBS Los Angeles.
An expressionless Fernandez spoke briefly during the court hearing, saying she was sorry and wished Gabriel was alive. She also criticized family members who have spoken of their grief over Gabriel, saying they just want fame.
A jail chaplain who has met with Fernandez told the court that she loved her son and is a different woman today than when she walked into jail.
Several agencies investigated abuse allegations leading up to Gabriel’s death. Garcia, the teacher, had called authorities to report that the boy had asked her if it was normal for a mother to hit her children with a belt, reports CBS Los Angeles.
On several occasions, investigators concluded there was no evidence of abuse.
Prosecutors have since filed charges of child abuse and falsifying records against four county social workers in Gabriel’s death.