Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Researchers have developed and tested a relatively simple strategy for reducing the chance of parents exposing their babies in the NICU to one of the most commonly diagnosed and potentially deadly microbial scourges in a hospital: Staphylococcus aureus.
“Traditional procedures for preventing hospital-acquired Staph infections in the NICU have primarily focused on keeping staff and facilities as sterile as possible,” said study researcher Aaron Milstone from Johns Hopkins University in the US.
“Our study is among the first to focus on parents as a source of the bacteria and then test the effectiveness of an intervention to combat the problem,” Milstone added.
According to the researchers, Staphylococcus aureus infections in the NICU not only threaten a sick or premature infant’s survival but their neurological development as well.
In a 2015 study, Milstone and others estimated that there are more than 5,000 cases of invasive such infections each year in NICUs across the US and that 10 per cent of the children will likely die before hospital discharge.
To reduce the spread of Staphylococcus aureus, the researchers turned to a simple regimen for mothers and fathers to follow while their child is in intensive care.
The preventive measure includes the application of an antibiotic (mupirocin) ointment into the nose and skin cleansing with a wipe containing two per cent chlorhexidine gluconate, an antiseptic widely used on patients to remove surface bacteria around a surgical site before an operation.
The Treating Parents to Reduce NICU Transmission of Staphylococcus (TREAT Parents) clinical trial was conducted to test the proposed strategy’s effectiveness.
The researchers selected for study 190 newborn babies admitted to two NICUs at Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospitals in Baltimore, Maryland, between November 2014 and December 2018.
Each of the infants had at least one parent who tested positive for the bacteria when screened at the time of their child’s entry into the NICU.
Baseline S. aureus counts were done for the infants at the same time.
The parents of 89 babies self-administered the antibiotic nasal ointment twice a day for five days and cleaned designated skin areas with antiseptic wipes for the same time period.
The control group, consisting of the remaining 101 parental couples, used identically packaged placebo treatments of petroleum jelly and non-antiseptic wipes.
Both sets of babies were monitored for Staphylococcus colonization until discharge from the NICU. Bacteria recovered from the infants were analyzed to determine if they were the same strain as seen in at least one parent.
Among the 190 infants studied overall, 42, or about 22 per cent, acquired S. aureus that matched bacteria recovered from either their mother or father, or from both parents. In this group, four babies had MRSA strains acquired from a parent.
Of the 101 babies with parents in the control group, 29 per cent had parentally acquired bacteria compared with only 13 of the 89 babies whose parents were given actual antibiotic ointment and antiseptic wipes to use.
ALSO READ: Tips On How To Write a Plagiarism Free Essay
“These results from our preliminary trial indicate that treatment with intranasal mupirocin and chlorhexidine wipes may significantly reduce the number of infants in the NICU who will get S. aureus from contact with a parent,” Milstone said. (IANS)
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. In its Ecoscope report, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "With Covid-19 hurting India's 'Household' (HH) and 'Government' sectors adversely, the continuity of strong consumption growth is in question."
"On the contrary, with listed companies' financial positions improving and an uptick in household investments in the Real Estate sector (called physical savings), the narrative of investment-led recovery is gaining momentum." The report prescribed that various economic participants - households, governments, listed companies, and unlisted corporates -- to increase their fixed asset investments in the immediate future based on their financial position.
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. | Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
At present, the listed and unlisted corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments in India. The 'HH' sector including unincorporated enterprises accounts for 35-40 per cent in India's investments, while the remaining 12-13 per cent is contributed by centre and states governments. Besides, the report cited that demand environment is expected to remain subdued due to weak financial position of 'HH' and government sector.
"Despite household investments picking up strongly in 2HFY21, given that Indian households bore the maximum brunt of Covid-led losses in CY20 (and CY21), we believe household spending would remain subdued over the next few years." It further pointed out that unless 'HH', 'Unlisted Corporate', and government sectors can improve their financial positions -- leading to a demand uptick -- a strong revival in investments seems challenging. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, covid, pandemic, growth, household, government, investment
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that next time the Dragon spacecraft will have food warmer and free WiFi. Taking to Twitter, the crew of Inspiration4 shared a checklist of things they have been enjoying while orbiting safely around the Earth.
"Can't believe we're eating cold pizza in space. It's extraordinary!" Inspiration4 tweeted. In response, Musk apologised for the cold food, saying: "Sorry, it was cold! Dragon will have food warmer and free WiFi next time."
Inspiration4 Crew | Wikimedia Commons
After lifting off for space, SpaceX's Inspiration4, the first all-civilian crew, is healthy, happy and doing well in the orbit, the company said recently. The mission lifted off at 8.02 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday (5.30 am IST on Thursday) aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from the historic Launch Complex 39 in NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It is commanded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman who has been joined by medical officer Haley Arceneaux, a pediatric cancer survivor; Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer; and Mission Pilot Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, entrepreneur and trained pilot. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Elon Musk, SpaceX, Inspiration4, Dragon, Wifi, food
September 17 is commemorated as the World Patient Safety Day, and this year the World Health Organization has come forward with "Safe Maternal & Newborn Care" as the theme to promote better maternity and childcare across the world. Indian healthcare too must take a pledge to overcome this burden and strive towards arresting the problems that cause neonatal mortality, say the healthcare professionals. India contributes to one-fifth of global child births, and the country is also a large contributor to the neonatal deaths. In 2020, infant mortality rate for India was 29.07 deaths per thousand live births, which is considered a quarter of total global fatalities. It is also the highest in absolute numbers for any country in the world, and this depicts a poor image for a nation that intends to emerge into a global superpower.
Dr. Satwinder Singh Sabharwal, COO, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital, believes that availability of better-quality healthcare at affordable rates will ensure reduce neonatal mortality rate in India and around the World. "Proving easy access to best-in-class doctors and super-specialty healthcare is critical for financially backward and less privileged sections of the society will ensure more mothers do not have to face the heartburn of losing their newborn to ill-fate. Multi-specialty hospitals like ours, which offer best-in-class care at affordable rates are providing a possible solution to this problem," he said.
Availability of better-quality healthcare at affordable rates will ensure reduce neonatal mortality rate in India and around the World. | Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Dr. Pradeep Panigrahi, Medical Director, SLG Hospitals pointed out that super specialty or modern healthcare is not just expensive but is also physically located at a distance from the common people. "More multi-specialty healthcare facilities need to come up in non-prime, and semi-urban settings to ensure more and more economically backwards sections take benefit of it. We are a hospital which is not located in the most prime localities, and we are easily accessible to those coming even from far-off locations like other districts and from locations with poor healthcare infrastructure. India needs more hospitals like ours to ensure best-quality treatment is available to all at all times," he said.
According to Gaurav Khurana, CEO, Gleneagles Global Hospitals the first 24 hours is the most critical phase for every child after birth. "Cutting of umbilical cord ends child's dependence on mother (placenta) for oxygen and nutrition; and from this stage to the child turning one year old is the most crucial phase. Ensuring right medical care at child's birth will play a big role in child's long life, and the medical fraternity in our country must take a pledge to make sure neonatal mortality is arrested, thus ensuring more children live-on to make India great," he said.
Ensuring right medical care at child's birth will play a big role in child's long life. | Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has developed the India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) in response to the global Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) in 2014. INAP aims to significantly reduce preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths and to bring down the neonatal mortality rate and still born rate to 'single digits' by 2030. Focus of INAP is on pre-conception and antenatal care; care during labor and childbirth; immediate newborn care; care of healthy newborn; care of small and sick newborn; and care beyond newborn survival. Indian healthcare fraternity hopes that their effort and the measures taken by the government together will help the country overcome this problem. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Newborn, India, government, INAP, stillbirth, healthcare, neonatal, mortality