Monday December 10, 2018

One million babies born in US using in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies: Report

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Washington, May 1, 2017: At least one million babies have been born in the US using in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies, a report has said.

The latest report was released this week by the US Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), which started to collect data on assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in 1985, Xinhua news agency reported.

For 2015, SART’s 371 clinics, which represent more than 90 per cent of the infertility clinics in the US, reported that they performed 213,004 treatment cycles, resulting in the birth of 67,818 babies. Positive trends in treatment and outcomes continued in 2015, with 34.5 per cent of procedures transferring a single embryo, compared to 27.2 per cent in 2014, the report said.

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“Fewer embryos transferred leads to lower incidence of multiple birth: 80.5 per cent of babies born from 2015 cycles were singletons, 19.1 per cent twins and fewer than one-half of one per cent were triplets (or higher order),” the report said.

With improvements in egg cryo-preservation techniques, the use of frozen donor eggs has also increased. At least 2,886 recipient cycle started using frozen donor eggs in 2014, and this number rose to 3,215 in 2015.

IVF was introduced in the US in 1981, and according to SART, about one in every 100 babies born in the country was conceived using IVF and related treatments. The world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in Britain in 1978. (IANS)

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Robots May Be Able to Perform C-Sections Soon

These big, set-piece operations will become less common as we are able to intervene earlier and use more moderate interventions

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A newborn, one of 12 babies born by C-section, cries inside an incubator at the Bunda Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 12, 2012. VOA

Robotics are expected to become so sophisticated, hospitals may not need surgeons. Controlled by healthcare assistants, the machines will soon be delivering babies by carrying out C-sections as well as other surgeries, say experts.

The predictions are based on the report by the “Commission on the Future of Surgery” set up by the Royal College of Surgeons in 2017, the Daily Mail reported.

According to the report, the robots controlled by healthcare assistants such as technicians are expected to conduct vaginal surgeries and operations on the bowel, heart and lungs.

This will help advance diagnoses of illnesses like cancer before they destroy organs and, as a result, operations will be smaller in scale and less traumatic.

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FILE – A visitor shakes hands with a humanoid robot at 2018 China International Robot Show in Shanghai (VOA)

Even healthcare assistants — who do not need any formal qualifications to get a job — could one day be trained to perform C-sections with the robots, The Telegraph reported.

Specialists and surgeons will remain in charge of operations but may not always need to be in the room.

“This is always going to be under the watchful eye and careful supervision of a surgeon,” Richard Kerr, neurosurgeon at the Oxford University and Chair of the commission, was quoted as saying.

“These are highly qualified healthcare professionals and they will be trained in a specific aspect of that procedure.

“The changes are expected to affect every type of operation. This will be a watershed moment in surgery,” Kerr said.

While some applications of robots and DNA-based medicines are expected to happen sooner than others, those with healthcare assistant-led C-sections is possible within five years, the report said.

C-section, Robots
These are highly qualified healthcare professionals and they will be trained in a specific aspect of that procedure. Flickr

However, the experts warn that the use of robots in surgery could be controversial. This is in light of an investigation which revealed that a 69-year-old man in Newcastle died when a robot was used to carry out his heart surgery in 2015.

The commission’s report also claims that major cancer operations could become a thing of past because screening DNA will pick up diseases earlier, before they ravage the body.

Also Read: AI  to Help the Students of Japan in Enhancing English Speaking Skills

Similarly, people with severe forms of arthritis could be identified early on and faster treatment might reduce the need for major hip and knee replacement ops.

“These big, set-piece operations will become less common as we are able to intervene earlier and use more moderate interventions,” said Professor Dion Mortonm, a member of the commission. (IANS)