Displaying items by tag: preemie industry news
Saturday, 15 October 2011 13:54

Stem Cells may Prevent Preterm Birth

A break through in stem cell cell research could help thousands of women at risk of having a preterm birth. Findings reported in the journal “Tissue Engineering” have discovered that they can manipulate the stem cells to make a material that is almost the same as a woman’s natural membrane that surrounds the fetus. This would act as a sort of “repair” patch to prevent preterm birth. This is very important because up to 40% of preterm births are caused by preterm premature rupture of the membrane (known as PPROM).

According to researchers at the Reading school of pharmacy a treatment could be available within 4 years. Their team have been able to grow the sac membrane that surrounds the fetus using stem cells from placentas obtained after birth. Reportedly, only one donation is required to produce thousands of patches to help preserve pregnancies at risk of preterm birth.

There repair patches are likely most beneficial for woman whose membranes rupture before 24 weeks gestation, where the preterm infant has less chance of survival due to the immaturity of their lungs. One of the most common causes of PPROM is infection, other risk factors are bleeding in the first half of the pregnancy, carrying twins, and when the fetus is surrounded by too much amniotic fluid.

Published in Industry News
Monday, 18 April 2011 19:30

Discovery! Preterm Birth Gene

Scientists from the US and Finland have discovered a gene linked to premature births. A strong association to preterm births was found in variants of the FSHR - or follicle stimulating hormone receptor - gene. Follicle stimulating hormone acts on receptors in the ovaries to encourage follicle (a sphere of cells containing an egg) development and production of the hormone oestrogen.

 

Published in Industry News
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 12:26

NICU Stress

As parents of premature babies well know, their tiny immature baby is likely to spend at least some time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU is where premature babies will receive specialized medical care allowing time for immature organs to develop sufficiently.

Although there are a number of factors that are associated with poorer developmental outcomes in very premature babies little is understood about the exposure to stress in the neonatal intensive care unit. A new study has focussed on this topic by examining neonatal infant stress and its effect on brain development.

This study involved 44 premature babies born less than 30 weeks gestation and trained nurses recorded procedures and cares. Stress was measured using a tool called the Neonatal Infant Stressor Scale (NISS), which consists of 36 interventions that contribute to infant stress. These premature babies then undertook a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to evaluate the relationship between brain structure and function and infant exposure to stress.

The findings of this study suggest that for premature babies exposure to stressors in the neonatal intensive care unit is associated with reduced brain size. It is not clear what the long-term consequences are and the authors suggest that further research of stress exposure on the premature baby brain is needed to improve outcomes for premature babies.

Published in Industry News
Thursday, 10 May 2012 18:29

Preemie Mom's Needed!

New Study - Get Involved! “Mother-to-Infant Attachment for Preterm Infants in the NICU: Relationship to Mother’s Intervention Participation and Infant Visitation”

About the Researcher:

I’m Jenny, mother to 4 ½-year-old son, Henry, who was born a preemie at 34 weeks. Now, I’m a doctoral student at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio investigating mother’s activities in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the mother-infant relationship that develops for premature infants during the first year of life.

Current Projects Description:

The attachment process between mothers and preterm infants on the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is not well understood. This study will investigate the relationship between mother-to-infant attachment and two factors: amount of maternal infant visitation in the NICU and amount of maternal participation in six NICU interventions (kangaroo care, infant massage, infant-directed singing, NICU preparation, parent-to-parent support, services from support persons on NICU staff). Mother’s infant visitation in the NICU was chosen to be measured based on its connection to key aspects related to mother-to-infant attachment in the literature, like proximity. Mother’s participation in specific NICU interventions were chosen to be measured based on their associations in the literature to maternal sensitivity and/or maternal distress, two factors influential in the development of mother-to-infant attachment. Descriptive data will also be collected in order to improve our knowledge of the distribution/prevalence of mother’s participation in NICU interventions and infant visitation. In this study, mothers of preterm infants will complete an online survey, the NICU & Attachment Survey, composed of three instruments. The Demographic Questionnaire will collect descriptive data, the NICU Interventions Questionnaire (NIQ) will assess participants’ participation in NICU interventions and infant visitation, and the Maternal Postnatal Attachment Scale (MPAS) will evaluate mother-to-infant attachment. Participants will be invited for participation through online forums related to parents, mothers, infants, prematurity, and NICUs. Findings from this research may result in more understanding and support for the attachment process in the NICU for preterm infants and mothers.

Study Purpose:

The attachment process between mothers and preterm infants on the NICU is not well understood. This study will examine the correlation between mother-to-infant attachment and two factors: amount of maternal infant visitation in the NICU and amount of maternal participation in six NICU interventions (kangaroo care, infant massage, infant-directed singing, NICU preparation, parent-to-parent support, and services from support persons on NICU staff). This study will also investigate the relationship between some demographic variables (age, education, and income) and the other factors examined in this study (mother-to-infant attachment, mother’s visitation of infant in the NICU, and mother’s participation in NICU interventions). Findings from this study may result in a better understanding of these relationships and provide focus for future research in this area of study.

Benefits of Research:

Those participating in this research may feel justified in knowing that this research aims to assist mothers and infants, similar to themselves and their infants, who had the unique experience of preterm birth requiring mother-infant separation for treatment in a NICU setting. Participants may feel comforted and warranted in knowing that their exploration of these topics may help researchers and mental health professionals better understand which NICU interventions are most strongly related to mother-to-infant attachment. The findings from this research study may result in a better understanding of the relationship between mother’s infant visitation in the NICU and participation in NCIU interventions and the mother-to-infant attachment that develops. The findings from this study may be used to educate professionals and parents about the importance of any of the practices found to relate to mother-to-infant attachment in the NICU for preterm infants.


Invitation to Participate:

NICU & Attachment Study for Mothers of Premature Infants

If you are the mother of a premature infant who was cared for in the NICU, I invite you to participate in my dissertation study exploring mothers’ activities in the NICU and the mother-infant attachment that develops.


Participation involves a 20 minute, anonymous, online survey for those meeting criterion.


Your exploration of these topics may help researchers and mental health professionals better understand which NICU interventions are most strongly related to mother-to-infant attachment and educate NICU professionals and parents about the importance of these practices.


Published in Industry News
Sunday, 05 February 2012 14:45

NICU Dr, Successful Communicators?

A group of researchers based in Canada sought to find out if the information content, process, and social interaction of the antenatal consultation satisfies the informational needs of women admitted to hospital in preterm and threatened preterm labor. Many hospitals have recently moved toward the family/patient centered care, which includes providing as much information to the patient/family as possible so that they might be more involved in decision-making. One of the major hurdles to this process is when patients are suffering high degrees of anxiety as it negatively affects their perception of the successfulness of communication between physician and patient. Since, preterm labor or threatened preterm labor is stressful for patients it is important to ascertain whether current communication strategies are successful when interacting with these patients.

The typical process – obstetricians request an antenatal consultation for patients admitted in preterm or threatened preterm labor. Consultation is usually provided by the attending neonatologist or could also be neonatal fellow, neonatal nurse practitioner, or paediatrician; the mother is visited by the attending neonatologist for follow-up.

Women included in this study were those with preterm or threatened preterm labor of between 25 and 32 weeks’ gestation. Participants completed a antenatal consultation questionnaire (ACQ); it included 30 questions about the content (type and amount of information given), process (how information was given) and social interaction of physicians. They also wanted to know whether the consultation process was helpful in relieving some of their worry and anxiety.

Results from the study found that study, respondents almost always recalled receiving information on the topics of survival, most likely regarding medical problems and treatments that the baby might need. Mothers reported that information on risk of disability was provided less consistently. Participants who recalled receiving information about disability were also less satisfied with the amount of information provided on this topic compared with other topics. Only 12% of participants disagreed that the consultation helped relieve their worry, suggesting that receiving information may contribute to increasing knowledge and understanding of the condition and risks, but it may also increase anxiety in some people.

Other researchers have suggested that patients want information, even in situations of uncertainty, like preterm labor, and that they feel more satisfied with the consultation if doctors share information about uncertainty. It is important for neonatologists to have frank and open discussions about uncertainty in prognosis, including the risk of disability.

Study conclusion –the mothers who responded to the antenatal consultation questionnaire were generally satisfied with the information provided during the antenatal consultation but remained highly anxious.

Published in Industry News
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 13:00

Probiotics, Key to Preterm Survival

Research championed by The University of Western Australia has concluded that thousands of preterm babies worldwide could be saved if probiotics were added to their feeds. The team of researchers reviewed 11 randomised trials in over 2,000 babies born more than six weeks prematurely and found survival was doubled in premature babies who received certain probiotics.

 

Published in Industry News
Saturday, 21 May 2011 13:09

Stem Cells for Preemies

The children's charity Action Medical Research is funding a project aimed at developing a cure for a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). ROP can lead to blindness in premature babies, putting the youngest, sickest and smallest babies most at risk, including over 3,000 babies who are born more than 12 weeks early each year in the UK.

 

Published in Industry News
Saturday, 27 October 2012 13:27

Caffeine & Preterm Infants

Caffeine therapy is frequently used to reduce apnea in infants born preterm. It has been shown to improve both short- and long-term outcomes in preemies born less than 1,250 grams. In an Australia study called Caffeine in Apnea of Prematurity (CAP for short) the proportion of infants with lung injury called bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) was lower when caffeine treatment started within the first 10 days of life compared with a placebo. Additionally, these researchers found that at 18 months preemies were less likely to be developmentally delayed or have cerebral palsy.

It is thought that the improvement in neurological outcome for preterm babies who have received caffeine therapy is due to the effect on cerebral white matter. Researchers from the CAP study reported that preemies who received caffeine for apnea may have more mature cerebral white matter organization. They also suggest that caffeine may be exerting a direct neuroprotective effect

The CAP study is now in the process of looking at the long-term outcome following caffeine treatment and will perform neuropsychological, lung functioning, and imaging analyzes on these children at age 11 years.

Published in Industry News
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 17:46

Price Slashed-Preemie prevention drug

KV Pharmaceutical Co., the maker of an expensive drug to prevent premature births slashed the price by more than half on Friday (1st April 2011), following an outcry over the high cost and moves by federal regulators to keep a cheap version available.

 

Published in Industry News
Friday, 05 August 2011 16:56

Blind Kids Catch Wave

Retinopathy of prematurity is a disorder of the eye that preterm infants are most at risk for in the neonatal period. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disease affecting the growth of blood vessels of the retina of preterm infants; it can be mild with no visual deficits, or it can be severe resulting in retinal detachment and blindness.

 

Published in Industry News
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AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 


Read More: Defining Preterm birth


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