Test Tube Babies to be sold in Australia
Aussie parents will be able to order their own baby test tubes, which will be tested and tested to see how well they are in their babies’ bodies, after a controversial Australian Government decision to allow private test tubes for use in hospitals.
The test tubes are meant to help doctors monitor the health of infants who are being born to expectant mothers, such as in hospital settings, and provide some reassurance when parents decide to stop breastfeeding.
They can also be used in private clinics to assess the health status of infants, such in the case of a mother who has been diagnosed with asthma.
While it’s expected to be a relatively simple process, the Australian Government said it had a number of reasons for wanting to test private test tube infants.
“These are the most cost-effective means to measure and manage infant health,” the Department of Health said in a statement.
“[Private] testing of infants is currently a matter for hospitals, and while this is an issue that should be addressed in consultation with the medical community, there is no specific recommendation for this type of testing at this time.”
The decision comes as the Australian Health Foundation has released a new report saying that infants born to mothers who are breastfeeding are at an increased risk of respiratory disease.
More than two-thirds of Australian babies are born to women who are either lactating, breastfeeding or both, according to the report, and the majority of these babies are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“There is a real need for improved testing for infants, including screening of their mothers,” said Anna Dickey, executive director of the foundation.
It was one of the most widely reported cases of COPD in Australia in 2017, when 1,818 babies died from the disease, according the report.
However, many mothers have opted not to seek medical care for their babies, opting instead to let them nurse in their homes, the foundation added.
Australian hospitals will be required to provide the private test Tube Babys, which can be purchased from private doctors, and can be used for a variety of conditions, including asthma, COPD and other respiratory illnesses.
As well as being able to get a private test, parents will also be able use the private tube at home to provide information on their infant’s health.
Australia’s Prime Minister said last week that Australia will be looking at whether it can be a better partner for developing a global trade agreement with the United States, to help combat COPD.
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