Jolie McCullough. Photo courtesy of Texas Tribune
The global summer heat wave didn’t spare the U.S., with the Southwest especially experiencing record-high temperatures. In Texas, people who may be at a higher risk of developing heat-related illnesses include the more than 100,000 inmates serving time in state prisons.
According to former Texas Tribune criminal justice reporter Jolie McCullough, more than two-thirds of state penitentiaries don’t have air conditioning in the majority of living sections. McCullough has been drawing attention to that issue for six years, and she recently talked about her data-gathering and sourcing strategies with the Association of Health Care Journalists.
Since the repeal of Roe v. Wade, thousands of clinicians and advocates who support abortion access have been playing defense on two critical fronts. Not only do they have to make sense of confusing state laws that limit necessary reproductive health care, but they also must counter false claims about abortion that some worry may lead to a higher maternal mortality rate.
Pregnant teenagers face unique health risks compared to their older counterparts because, for one thing, their bodies are still developing. Research has shown that very young mothers have higher odds of having eclampsia, postpartum blood loss and other complications. It seems likely that limits on abortion access across the U.S. may have long-lasting effects on the health of generations of expectant adolescents.
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The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has doubled in the last 20 years, a recent analysis found. What’s more, the study showed that Black, Native American and Alaska Native mothers are much more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than their peers of other racial and ethnic groups.
While the population trends raise significant questions about access to obstetric and gynecological care available to U.S. mothers, the regional trends underscore just how common pregnancy-related deaths have become here and how widespread the problem is.
A growing body of research shows a link between gender, race and ethnicity and unsafe patient care, but some experts say more comprehensive patient data are needed to better understand why certain groups are more likely to be harmed by medical error.