Friday, 07 October 2011 11:02

New Article: ROP surgery

Preemie Help have just released a new article called, Retinopathy of Prematurity; Surgeries and Procedures. It provides some basic information about the surgeries and procedures used to treat preterm infants with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This is an important topic as the smallest and sickiest preterm infants are at the greatest risk for ROP, understanding a little about what's involved can help with feelings of being overwhelmed and confused.

There a several studies being undertaken at the moment to try and improve outcomes following ROP and ways to prevent it in the first instance. Preemie Help will keep up-to-date with this information and post any new findings.

Retinopathy of Prematurity; Surgeries and Procedures can be found under the section "About Preemies" > "In the Hospital" > under the heading "Preemie Surgeries and Procedures."

Published in Industry News
Monday, 10 December 2012 17:45

L’il Aussie Prems Foundation

L’il Aussie Prems Foundation is Australia’s largest online support community and forum for families of prematurely born children and sick newborns. They are a voluntary not-for-profit organisation set up to provide online support, raise awareness, bring parents together who have traveled a similar path whilst encouraging families to share their personal and unique journey through our website. No matter where families are located geographically, our website and support services are assessable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Foundation’s website was initially established in 2007 by a premmie mum who gave birth to her first son at 27 weeks gestation. The forum and website continue to offer a lifeline to families. In October 2012, with the goal of expanding the online support provided to families, L’il Aussie Prems Foundation became a registered charity, incorporated in the state of Victoria.

The Foundations committee members are all parents who have each experienced a very personal and unique journey after the premature birth of their children. As members of the forum community for many years, they each understand the vulnerability parents feel in a similar situation, the importance of an online community and the integral role the Foundation plays with offering a safe and supportive environment to each family.

Published in Industry News
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:23

MRI, Extremely Preterm Birth & IQ

An Australia research group - Victorian Infant Collaborative Study - based in Melbourne investigates both short- and long-term outcomes associated with preterm birth. One of their studies has followed a large cohort, which includes participants from the 4 major children's hospitals in Victoria, 298 preterm survivors and 262 normal birth weight controls. These cohorts have had extensive evaluations of their growth and developments at 2, 5, and 8 years of age and were recently seen for a major follow-up including an extensive cognitive and visual assessment at age 8 years. In addition some 148 extremely preterm survivors and 132 term born controls received a magnetic resonance imaging scan of their brain in order to compare brain volumes from multiple brain tissues and structures as well as to explore the relationships of brain tissue volumes with IQ and basic educational skills.

IQ was assessed using the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and Educational skills were assessed using the Wide Range Achievement Test(WRAT-4).

This research represents the largest regional neuroimaging cohort of adolescents born in the 1990s, which is very important as this cohort represents a group that received "new" medical interventions such as surfactant therapy and antenatal corticosteroids which had greater success in improving survival rates of the smallest and most preterm infants. The long-term outcomes of these survivors have not been well documented until this unique study.

The researchers found that extremely preterm adolescents had smaller brain volumes, lower IQs and poorer educational performance than babies born at term. They also reported that brain volumes of multiple tissues and structures are related to IQ and educational outcomes and concluded that smaller total brain tissue volume is an important contributor to the cognitive and educational underperformance of adolescents born extremely preterm.

The authors of this study suggested that examining brain volume is one of many ways to understand the neurological changes associated with preterm birth and fruther investigations might be able to determine the correlation between other structural and functional information obtained from advanced MRI, which might also provide a more global understanding of changes related to extreme prematurity in adolescence

Published in Industry News
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 17:05

Preemie dances on Ellen Show

In China, parents of a very small preemie sent their son to dance lessons after doctors suggested he move his limbs to music to help build up his weak muscles.  They didn't anticipate how much he'd love it, or how good he would be!

 

This little preemie is now world famous for imitating Michael Jackson's moves, he's appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and performed at the World Expo in Shanghai, May 2010.

His name is Wang Yiming but is more popularly know as Xiao Bao, which means "little treasure".

 

Watch preemie Xiao Bao dance like Michael Jackson below

Published in Fun clips for preemies
Monday, 31 March 2014 13:52

Preterm Infants: Visual Processing

An Australia research project looking at the long-term outcome of preterm birth on visual processing has found that despite advances in medical care improving the survival rate of high-risk extremely low birth weight and/or extremely preterm infants, visual morbidity is still relatively high compared with controls in late adolescence.

 

Ocular growth and development differ between extremely low birth weight (ELBW, ,1000 g) or extremely preterm (EP, gestational age ,28 weeks) and term children and may have long-term negative consequences for visual function. Visual sensory and perceptual skills are important for a range of functions and everyday activities, such as classroom learning, overall school performance,successful social interaction, and social cognition. Consequently, understanding the nature and frequency of visual deficits in ELBW/EP children is vital to inform adequate and appropriately targeted clinical follow-up and to increase focus on developing avenues for remediation.

The study involved following up 228 extremely preterm survivors born in Victoria in 1991 and 1992 and 166 randomly selected normal birth weight controls. The participants were assessed between the ages of 14 and 20 years of age. Visual acuity, stereopsis, convergence, color perception, and visual perception were assessed and contrasted between groups.

The researchers reported that adolescents born extemely preterm had worse visual acuity, poorer depth perception, and more problems with visual perception. Given the potential importance of visual perceptual skills to more complex tasks and academic achievement, these results have important clinical relevance.

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
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
Friday, 21 October 2011 07:57

Antenatal & Postnatal Depression

Preemie Help would like to introduce the newest expert to contribute an article in their area of expertise. Natalie Worth is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the treatment of women with post natal adjustment and depression issues.

Post Natal depression is sometimes referred to as Postpartum depression, whereas Post Natal and Ante Natal Depression are also both called Perinatal depression or PND for short.

Both antenatal and postnatal depression have long been significant issues, for women in particular, which has largely been avoided and not spoken of. The good news is, the conversations around this topic are increasing and women are more likely to discuss, report, or seek help for perinatal depression compared with 10 years ago. The other very important issue is that perinatal depression often responds very well to early detection followed by well chosen treatment, under good medical and psychological direction.

Natalie Worth is an expert in this area and helps many families with perinatal depression, inlcuding parents of preemies. Her tails are as follows;

  • Natalie Worth
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Adelaide Hills South Australia
  • Mobile number 0413 984 724
  • Fax Number 8388 0745
  • Individual and Group Therapy

Natalie sees women with post natal adjustment and depression issues and offer groups and one to one services. Currently the groups have openings and she can offer a one off interview prior to joining a group and then in 1 month or so, she will have more one to one counselling spots available too. Natalie is based in Littlehampton South Australia - her contact details for clients and workers is 0413 984 724. She is able to offer Medicare rebates for clients who are GP referred with a mental health care plan , and her current gap is $30.20, with some discounts and the group out of pocket fee is lower than this too.

Published in Industry News
Friday, 03 June 2011 13:40

Flu Shot and Preterm Birth

Having a flu shot may reduce the risk of having a preterm birth. A new study in the US reported that women who received the vaccine and gave birth during the flu season were 40% less likely to have a baby born prematurely.

 

Published in Industry News
Saturday, 21 January 2012 12:17

Training Preemie Parents

Recent research conducted in Norway has found that helping preemie parents better understand and interact with their babies may improve behavioral outcomes at school-age. This is an important finding as children born preterm are at greater risk for behavioral difficulties such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Preemies, particularly those who have been in intensive care units have been described as being more “difficult” and score less favorably in mood, adaptability, persistence, rhythmicity and distractibility than full term infants in standardized measures of temperament. Parents of preemies report that their babies are harder to understand, which can make it more challenging to successfully interact with them.

Researchers at the University Hospital of North Norway recruited 146 preemies born less than 2,000 grams (4 pounds, 6 ounces) who then either participated in a training program or undertook standard care only. Seventy-five full term infants were also recruited to be used as a baseline comparison. The intervention consisted of 8 sessions shortly before discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and 4 home visits by specially trained nurses focusing on the infant's unique characteristics, temperament, and developmental potential and the interaction between the infant and the parents. A follow-up of these babies at age 5 years found that preemies whose parents received the training had fewer behavior problems, such as inattention, aggression, or withdrawn behaviour. A key point of this study is that teaching parents skills from the beginning of their baby’s life is important and particularly so for parents of preemies.

Published in Industry News
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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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New Release - Preemie Development

All in one easy to read eguide

‘The complete preemie guide to: ‘Preemie development’ is the must have guide to the NICU for new preemie parents.

With an easy-to-read layout this comprehensive guide is over 130 pages of important information about the NICU and your preemie.

Using Adobe’s .pdf format makes the guide usable across a wide range of platforms from ipad to PC, smartphone to macbook.

Packed with extra features like progress charts, NICU checklists and plenty of others. ‘The preemie guide’ is a must for any new parents.


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