Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Potentially Tragic Breast-Milk Mix-Up

Schneider: Minuscule risk to infant mistakenly fed with breast milk from another baby’s HIV-positive mother
Paul Michael Glaser
with his late wife Elizabeth
 and their daughter Ariel

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As soon as I read this frightening headline all I could think of was the decades' old story about the wife and daughter of Paul Michael Glaser, the actor from Starsky and Hutch.
Paul and Elizabeth, had been married a year when, in 1981, she was given an HIV infected blood transfusion while giving birth to Ariel.
She passed the virus on through breast feeding and three years later infected their second child, Jake, in the womb.
The family only discovered the tragedy when Ariel fell ill with a mystery virus at four and was diagnosed with Aids.
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I hope the baby who was mistakenly given the HIV infected milk will be healthy and I don't understand how an infected mother is permitted to breastfeed her baby.  It was always pretty obvious to me that human milk is one of the "body liquids" that can carry HIV.  That was the well-publicized lesson of the Glaser family tragedy.

Almost thirty years ago I spent six weeks with my then newborn (youngest child) in Sha'are Tzedek Hospital. He was hospitalized with a serious bacterial infection and needed IV antibiotics.  I also pumped milk for him and had to leave it for volunteer caregivers to feed him when I visited my older kids in Shiloh every afternoon/evening.  I'm pretty sure I just had stickers for the hospital bottles I used and a breast pump I probably rented from the hospital.  It was a long time ago and a simpler, more naïve era.  Baruch Hashem we got through that, and he fully recovered. Thank G-d for giving us humans the intelligence to invent modern medicine.

3 comments:

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
A friend who was badly injured in a terror attack 13 years ago and required large doses of antibiotics was not permitted to breastfeed her baby. She pumped so that when she was off the antibiotics she would be able to resume breastfeeding.

Anonymous said...

Never knew that sad fact about the Starsky actor, thanks for sharing

Batya said...

Hadassa, and did she succeed?
a, some things just stay in my mind.