Dr. Carola Arndt, a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at Mayo Clinic, shares an overview of Neutropenia, an abnormally low count of neutrophils, white blood cells that help the immune system fight off infections. Dr. Arndt discusses symptoms, causes, diagnoses, and treatment options.
Why is type 2 diabetes so devastating to the body?
Get reliable information about type 2 diabetes, tips from diabetes experts, and real-life stories about people living with type 2 diabetes.
Reviewed By: Varnada Karriem-Norwood, August 2012
SOURCES: National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2007. C. Ronald Kahn, MD Vice Chair, Joslin Diabetes Center.
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Mayo Clinic doctors say its very important to get flu shots. Not just because they protect you against influenza, but also because if you do get sick with the flu, the vaccine reduces your chances of developing a potentially deadly complication called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Hear one patient’s story of being on a ventilator for almost two months after developing ARDS.
The loss of a baby due to stillbirth remains a sad reality for many families and takes a serious toll on families’ health and well-being. Learn more about stillbirth below.
What is stillbirth?
A stillbirth is the death or loss of a baby before or during delivery. Both miscarriage and stillbirth describe pregnancy loss, but they differ according to when the loss occurs. In the United States, a miscarriage is usually defined as loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy, and a stillbirth is loss of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Stillbirth is further classified as either early, late, or term.
- An early stillbirth is a fetal death occurring between 20 and 27 completed weeks of pregnancy.
- A late stillbirth occurs between 28 and 36 completed pregnancy weeks.
- A term stillbirth occurs between 37 or more completed pregnancy weeks..
Stillbirth: A Healthcare Professional’s Role
How Many Babies Are Stillborn?
Stillbirth effects about 1% of all pregnancies, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States.1 That is about the same number of babies that die during the first year of life and it is more than 10 times as many deaths as the number that occur from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).2
Because of advances in medical technology over the last 30 years, prenatal care (medical care during pregnancy) has improved, which has dramatically reduced the number of late and term stillbirth.3 However, the rate of early stillbirth has remained about the same over time.3
What Increases the Risk of Stillbirth?
The causes of many stillbirths are unknown. Therefore, families are often left grieving without answers to their questions. Stillbirth is not a cause of death, but rather a term that means a baby’s death during the pregnancy. Some women blame themselves, but rarely are these deaths caused by something a woman did or did not do. Known contributors to stillbirth generally fall into one of three broad categories:
- Problems with the baby (birth defects or genetic problems)
- Problems with the placenta or umbilical cord (this is where the mother and baby exchange oxygen and nutrients)
- Certain conditions in the mother (for example, uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity)
Stillbirth with an unknown cause is called “unexplained stillbirth.” Having an unexplained stillbirth is more likely to occur the further along a woman is in her pregnancy.
Although stillbirth occurs in families of all races, ethnicities, and income levels, and to women of all ages, some women are at higher risk for having a stillbirth. Some of the factors that increase the risk for a stillbirth include the mother:
- being of black race
- being a teenager
- being 35 years of age or older
- being unmarried
- being obese
- smoking cigarettes during pregnancy
- having certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- having multiple pregnancies
- having had a previous pregnancy loss
These factors are also associated with other poor pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth.
State laws require the reporting of fetal deaths, and federal law supports national collection and publication of fetal death data. The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) released the first ever report on cause of fetal death using national data in 2016.
What can be done?
CDC works to learn more about who might have a stillbirth and why. CDC does this by tracking how often stillbirth occurs and researching what causes stillbirth and how to prevent it. Knowledge about the potential causes of stillbirth can be used to develop recommendations, policies, and services to help prevent stillbirth. While we continue to learn more about stillbirth, much work remains. To learn more about CDC’s activities, visit the Stillbirth CDC Activities page.
- Macdorman MF, Gregory ECW. Fetal and perinatal mortality, United States, 2013. National vital statistics reports; vol 64 no 8. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015. [Read report]
- Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2012. NCHS data brief, no 168. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2014. [Read report]
- MacDorman MF, Kirmeyer SE, Wilson EC. Fetal and perinatal mortality, United States, 2006. National vital statistics reports; vol 60 no 8. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012. [Read data brief]
Third year Mayo Medical Student, Theresa Cheng, talks about transitioning to the wards as she works towards becoming a compassionate physician, translating the knowledge learned in first and second year into the reality of patient-centered medicine.
At what point does a fever or stomachache become a medical emergency? If you slice your finger with a knife, or you are having the worst headache you’ve ever had, should you seek emergency care? How do you know?
The following is advice for how to handle common emergency medical conditions. This section does not contain all the signs or symptoms of medical emergencies, and the advice is not intended to be a substitute for consulting with a medical professional. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, seek immediate medical attention.
Use this high-intensity interval training session to boost your metabolism. You’ll complete a series of five exercises, and also learn how to adapt them for any level of fitness.
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“There are no words to express just how grateful I am for this gift,” says Andy Sandness, the recipient of Mayo Clinic’s first-ever face transplant. This video profiles Mr. Sandness’ decade long journey – from a “devastating” injury to being selected as Mayo’s first patient to undergo this life-transforming procedure.
Dr. Tobias Kohler, a urologist at Mayo Clinic, explains a promising new treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. This interview originally aired on Feb. 24, 2018.
Take a peek at how this procedure opens narrow arteries to help blood flow more freely. Learn more: http://wb.md/2e7Q6d1
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Our bodies are very good at fighting infections. The immune system reacts and attacks the bacteria and viruses that make us sick. But sometimes the immune reaction is so strong that it damages the body too. This is called a septic reaction, or sepsis. And the mortality rate associated with it can be high. Doctors at Mayo Clinic want to change that. They’ve organized a sepsis response team in the intensive care unit. Their goal: to stop sepsis and save lives.