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The Social Impact of Child Abuse

Author Jarod Cassidy

Over the past week, our blogs have looked at the long-term impacts of child abuse on the individual and those around them. However, child abuse creates a long reaching ripple effect – one that carries with it serious social and economic implications.

How Child Abuse Damages Communities

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, rates of child abuse and child neglect have a measurable impact on communities. This is because individuals who are abused as children are more likely to engage in various illicit activities.

One research into the subject is limited, one study completed using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that child abuse roughly doubles the probability that a person will commit a crime later in life. This was even true when the researchers compared twins.

Such crime also carries a financial impact. It is estimated that crimes that are the result of child abuse costs society as much as $62.5 billion every year.

Further Quantifying the Social Effects of Child Abuse

The following information was presented by Prevent Child Abuse Texas:

  • 50% of all runaway youths were victims of physical abuse. This does not include victims of neglect and sexual abuse.
  • 60% of prostitutes reported being sexually abused as children.
  • An analysis of inmates at the Ferguson Unit in Midway, Texas found that 65% of the inmates had been abused as children.
  • Between 60-80% of adults who abuse drugs or alcohol experienced some type of abuse as a child.

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Danish Study Links Zofran to Heart Defects

Author Brian Finehout-Henry

OBGYN News has reported that a Danish study has found that use of Zofran during pregnancy doubles the risk of the baby being born with a heart defect.

About Zofran

Zofran (ondansetron) was developed by GlaxoSmithKline, earning Food and Drug Administration approval in 1991, and comes in several forms: injection, tablet, oral solution, and an orally dissolving tablet. Zofran has only been tested and approved by the FDA to treat nausea and vomiting arising from cancer therapy or nausea and vomiting occurring after surgery.

In 2012, the United States Department of Justice announced that GlaxoSmithKline agreed to plead guilty and pay $3 billion to settle allegations that the drug company had illegally marketed drugs, failed to disclose safety information, and other illegal activities.

Settlement documents show that GlaxoSmithKline was alleged to have illegally promoted Zofran for use in treating morning sickness, illegally distributed false information on the safety and effectiveness of Zofran, and that the drug company paid kickbacks to doctors who prescribed Zofran for morning sickness.

Zofran Doubles the Risk of Heart Defects

The Toronto Star reports that the large Danish study found that ondansetron, the generic name for Zofran, taken during pregnancy, doubled the risk of heart defects.

The study examined almost one million pregnancies, using the extensive medical and prescription drug registries Denmark keeps, and sophisticated statistical analysis to determine the extent of the risk for birth defects associated with ondansetron.

The authors looked specifically at ventricular and atrial septal defects and found that ondansetron:

  • More than doubled the risk of ventricular septal defects
  • More than doubled the risk of atrial septal defects
  • More than quadrupled the risk of atrioventricular septal defects, also called an atrioventricular canal
Ventricular and Atrial Septal Defects Linked to Zofran

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, explains that septal defects occur when the heart does not fully form and a hole or holes remain in the walls separating the different chambers of the heart and infants can present with the following symptoms:

  • Problems breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Sweating
  • Murmur
  • Problems feeding
  • Getting tired easily
  • Not putting on weight
  • Swelling of the limbs
  • Abnormal heart beats
  • Stroke
  • Congestive heart failure

The Mayo Clinic reports that the treatment of septal defects depends on the extent and severity of the condition but can include:

  • Monitoring by doctors
  • Medications > including medications to control heart beat, thin the blood, and/or reduce blood pressure
  • Surgery > can include minimally invasive and/or open heart surgery to patch the holes and repair any damaged valves

The Mayo Clinic explains that infants born with an atrioventricular septal defect will need surgery and lifelong follow up care with specialists. 

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Woman Pleads Guilty to Fatal Hit-and-Run

Author Cordes Crawford

A Corpus Christi woman has pleaded guilty to a fatal hit-and-run that left one person dead and another seriously injured.

Details of the Corpus Christi Hit-and-Run

KRIS-TV reports the woman who killed a man and severely injured a woman in a hit and run crash last year has pleaded guilty to two counts of causing an accident involving severe bodily injury or death and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Christine Griffin, the driver, careened off the road and into two people as they were legally walking on the side of 25th Street. She fled the scene and was arrested hours later.

One victim, Ray Lopez, died at the scene, and the other, Maria Macias, suffered severe brain damaged. Macias was the victim of another hit-and-run earlier that year.

Texas Auto Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

  • 3,413 traffic related deaths were recorded in Texas in 2013 – roughly one death every 2 hours and 36 minutes.
  • Pedestrian fatalities accounted for 485 deaths in 2013.
  • An additional 232,041 people were injured in auto accidents with 89,270 people reporting serious injuries.
  • It is estimated that a reportable collision occurred in Texas every 71 seconds.

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