Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nurses Deliver Octuplets in California

A set of octuplets was delivered safely Monday by a team of nurses at a Bellflower, California hospital, CNN reported. Tuesday saw them in good health, and beginning to breathe without the aid of ventilators.

Six boys and two girls arrived during the 30th week of their mother's pregnancy, ranging in size from 1 pound, 8 ounces to 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Their mother has chosen to remain anonymous.

Initially, ultrasound scans only revealed seven fetuses. The eighth was discovered during Caesarean section, surprising both mother and attending nurses. With a letter assigned to each newborn, seven nurses were assigned to care for infants A through G -- so when newborn H arrived, nurse G took over, with the help of doctor F.

For now, the infants are staying in incubators, where they may remain for up to eight weeks after their birth.

This is the second instance of live octuplets being born in the US, the first being born in Houston, Texas in 1998.

That Corn Syrup Might Contain Mercury

Trace levels of mercury were found to be present in high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetening agent that is used in many of the processed foods we consume on a daily basis, a recent study found.

According to researchers, the mercury finds its way into corn syrup by way of the processing equipment used to make it. MedicalNewsToday reports the element in question is caustic soda, which is used to separate the starch from the corn kernel during processing. The caustic soda has been produced for years in industrial chlorine plants, which use mercury cells. The mercury has been migrating in trace amounts into the caustic soda, and from there into the corn syrup.

The good news is, some processing plants use caustic soda that is not produced alongside mercury cells, and the industry has only to shift to using it, rather than the more dangerous product.

Legislation has been in process since 2007 to phase out mercury cell technology.