Health

Mom Delivers Baby In Wal-Mart Checkout Line

| by Michael Allen
Cecelia Rivas Matias PerezCecelia Rivas Matias Perez

Cecelia Rivas delivered a baby in a checkout line at a Wal-Mart in Payson, Utah, on Oct. 9.

Hours earlier, Rivas felt labor pains. She woke her husband up at 2 a.m. and told him that she was going to Wal-Mart because she needed baby supplies.

"I thought it was time to go to Walmart and get some things I needed," Rivas told the Daily Herald through a translator.

Rivas' husband told her that he would go to the store and she could stay home, but she insisted that he stay home with their children while she went to Wal-Mart.

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Rivas recalled that her labor pains got worse inside the store at about 5:30 a.m while she was in the checkout line.

Rivas' water broke, and she gave birth in the line. Fortunately, shoppers and employees helped her.

"I just want to say thanks to the lady behind me who helped me," Rivas told the newspaper. "I was really surprised and really scared. But they told me not to worry, and then, my baby was there on my chest."

Rivas gave birth to her third child, Matias Perez.

Rivas and Matias were transported to a local hospital where they are both reported as healthy. Matias was put on antibiotics as a precaution because stores are not the cleanest areas to give birth.

While that story turned out fine, many other babies in the U.S. are not so fortunate.

A new study published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics on Sept. 26 found that the rate of opioid-dependent babies more than doubled between 2008 and 2013.

Opioids are painkillers that can range from prescription medication (Vicodin) to street drugs (heroin).

Researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy studied babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, which is when infants display withdrawal symptoms because they were exposed to opioids before birth, notes Live Science.

The researchers said in their report that the syndrome rate went from 2.8 cases per 1,000 births in 2008 up to 7.3 in 2013 (27,315 babies born in 2013).

The study also found that the syndrome rate increased in Kentucky from 5.0 cases per 1,000 births in 2008 to 21.2 in 2014.

The Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 mandates that the Department of Health and Human Services do a study on this problem and create recommendations to prevent and treat it.

While the federal government is now working to stop opioid addiction, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly approved opioid-based painkillers. 

Democrat Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont wrote in 2015:

Now the Food and Drug Administration is recklessly making the problem worse with its decision to approve OxyContin for use by children as young as 11 years old. I was horrified when I learned of the F.D.A.’s decision last month...

Now is the time for the F.D.A. to be a partner in reducing — not expanding — the availability of these drugs. Instead, it is doing the exact opposite. While it is true that there are a small number of very ill children who may benefit from the extended-release nature of OxyContin, which allows for longer intervals between doses, the risks of approving this medication for kids are great.

It’s unfortunate but not all that surprising that the F.D.A. is ignoring the risks of making OxyContin more widely available. Along with the pharmaceutical industry, the F.D.A. lit the match that ignited the addiction crisis in this country when it approved OxyContin in the mid-1990s. The irrational exuberance with which painkillers were handed out following that approval is disturbing.

Sources: Daily Herald, Live Science, Gov. Peter Shumlin / Photo credit: Nathan Black via Daily Herald

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