Tuesday February 18, 2020

Premature Babies And Their Care In Hospitals

Judy Campbell, a lactation consultant, says because of the team's success, calls from mothers with preemies has nearly quadrupled.

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Premature babies
Low Cost Study Has High Impact Results For Premature Babies. VOA

No one knows exactly why some babies are born prematurely, but some of the smallest premature babies weigh under 1,500 grams. These tiny babies — called micro preemies — can’t afford to lose an ounce. At Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, a team of specialists has come up with a plan to give these babies the best chance to live and thrive.

When Vanessa Ohakam gave birth to her son, she was only 24 weeks pregnant. Vanessa was terrified. Her newborn J.C. weighed just a little more than 736 grams or about one and a half pounds.

“I couldn’t even change a diaper I was so nervous and anxious. He just looked so frail. But the nurses were very supportive and encouraging.”

Ohakam and J.C. were lucky. J.C. was in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington during the course of a nutritional study.

A team of specialists at the hospital’s NICU, the neo-natal intensive care unit, wanted to see if they could help J.C. and other very small premature babies boost their weight and improve their chances to thrive.

Michelande Ridore is a health care administrator who leads the team.

“Preemies, in particular, have high incidents of malnutrition as well as poor development,” Ridore said.

As Ridore explained, these premature babies have so little body fat, they can’t afford to waste energy. Some are in blanketed incubators to encourage sleep so they don’t move around and burn calories. The team focused on what — and when — the babies ate.

Caitlin Forsythe is the lead nurse on the study.

Tokophobia, premature babies
The team emphasized mother’s milk.Flickr

“We noticed that a lot of our practitioners (doctors) and the way that they were providing feedings for very low birth weight babies, those are babies weighing 1500 grams or less, that they were being fed different ways,” Forsythe said.

The team wanted to standardize the nutrients in what the babies are fed because medical literature shows it helps babies thrive. Wherever possible, Forsythe said the team emphasized mother’s milk.

“That’s what’s best for the premature babies. They tolerate it better, and it has great antibodies,” Forsythe explained.

Judy Campbell, a lactation consultant, says because of the team’s success, calls from mothers with preemies has nearly quadrupled.

“We know that mother’s milk has growth factors in it that can’t be replaced with any other substance,” Campbell said.

Tokophobia, premature babies
Maternity benefits under PMMVY are given to all pregnant and lactating mothers. (VOA)

The team standardized nutrition practices to include fortified donor breast milk for babies whose mothers couldn’t provide their own, fortified mother’s milk and formula, depending on each baby’s needs. Forsythe said she is pleased with the results so far.

“We have been able to put protocols in place so that there’s a standardization of care. We’ve also increased the amount of mother’s own milk we’ve been providing for the babies which is great,” Forsythe continued.

Also Read: Novel Blood Test May Predict Autism Risk in Babies During Pregnancy

Ridore said there’s a marked improvement in the babies ability to thrive, “We were able to improve their weight by 30 percent.”

The team isn’t quite done. They want to tweak the existing nutrition practices to see if they can improve their results. Once they are finished, they will publish the results so other micro-preemies can benefit, too. (VOA)

Next Story

Simple Blood Test May Help Improve Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer: Study

Know about this blood test developed by researchers that may improve ovarian cancer diagnosis

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Cancer blood test
Researchers have developed a simple blood test that measures the body's own immune response to improve diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Pixabay

Health researchers have developed a simple blood test that measures the body’s own immune response to improve diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that testing for a specific immune biomarker allows clinicians to identify whether growths on the ovaries are cancerous or not, without the need for tests like the MRI scans or ultrasounds.

Ovarian cancer is one of the most common gynaecologic cancers, with the highest mortality rate. About 300,000 new cases are diagnosed globally each year, with an estimated 60 per cent of women dying within five years after diagnosis.

“Our new test is as accurate as the combined results of a standard blood test and ultrasound. This is especially important for women in remote or disadvantaged communities, where under-resourced hospitals may not have access to complex and expensive equipment like ultrasound machines or MRI scanners,” said study senior author
Magdalena Plebanski from the RMIT University in Australia.

Cancer blood test
Ovarian cancer is one of the most common gynaecologic cancers. Pixabay

“It also means patients with benign cysts identified through imaging could potentially be spared unnecessary surgeries,” Plebanski added. According to the researchers, the test could be an important diagnostic tool for assessing suspicious ovarian growths before operations.

“This study looked at women with advanced ovarian cancer, but we hope further research could explore the potential for adding this biomarker to routine diagnostic tests at earlier stages of the disease,” Plebanski said.

The study used an immune marker for inflammation (IL-6) together with cancer markers to detect epithelial ovarian cancer in blood. According to the researchers, results were validated across two separate human trial cohorts.

Also Read- Know About the Side Effects of Using Cannabis

“Every day in Australia, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three will die from the disease,” Plebanski said.

“Developing tests that are simpler and more practical may help get more women to hospital for treatment more effectively, with the hope that survival rates will improve,” Plebanski concluded. (IANS)