Why Is Neonatal Treatment Stuck in the Last Century?

It was the year of the original Blackberry, Napster music downloads and AOL Instant Messaging — all ancient technology by today’s standards. Yet 1998 was the most recent year that the FDA approved more than one drug therapy specifically for newborns. Since that time, there has only been one approved, and it is no longer in production. Almost two decades represents an eternity in the fields of science, medicine and technology. So why don’t we have more and newer drugs to improve survival for newborns?

Read more from Mitchell Goldstein, M.D., Medical Director, National Coalition for Infant Health in Future of Personal Health.

A Victory for NICU Patient Safety

Hospital NICUs are getting an early Christmas present: the ability to opt out on tubing that could put their newborn patients at risk.

The Joint Commission, the nation’s foremost accreditation organization for health care programs, recently confirmed it will not endorse tubing connector technology known as ENFit.  Hailed as a victory for infant safety, the decision comes in response to a letter from the National Coalition for Infant Health that outlined concerns about the ENFit design.

But, what is the ENFit tubing connector? And, why is this a victory for infant safety?


NCfIH Issues Letter to Joint Commission Regarding NICU Tubing Safety Concerns

On behalf of the National Coalition for Infant Health (NCfIH), we are writing to share concerns regarding the ENFit tubing connector design and the safety risks this design poses to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients. For these tiny, vulnerable infants, concerns about inaccurate dosing of medications at small volumes must be taken very seriously.

Breastfeeding for two months can cut risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by half

Babies who are breastfed for at least two months are at a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than the ones who aren’t nursed as long, a recent study has found. According to the University of Virginia School of Medicine research, breastfeeding for at least two months cuts a baby’s risk of SIDS almost in half. Previous research said it could cut risk of asthma and benefit the mother’s wellbeing as well.

*** PRESS RELEASE*** Infant Health Summit to Address Infant Transmission of Hepatitis C, NICU Tubing Design Safety and More

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, October 26, the Institute for Patient Access and National Coalition for Infant Health will host the 2017 Infant Health Policy Summit in Washington, DC, to explore patient access and safety issues facing vulnerable infants and their families. The summit will feature keynote remarks by Adam Busby, star of TLC’s “OutDaughtered” and paternal postpartum depression advocate. Experts, including CDR Sarah Schillie, MD, CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis, will discuss the opioid epidemic and subsequent increase in hepatitis C carriers and vertical transmission to babies.

Babies’ race affects quality of care in California neonatal intensive care, study says

An infant’s race and ethnicity affect the quality of care they receive in California neonatal intensive care units, according to a study by the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Asian American and white infants received the highest overall quality of care, according to the scoring system used in the study, which is scheduled to be published Monday in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. African American infants had slightly lower scores compared with Asians and whites. Hispanic infants and infants classified as “other,” which include American Indian and Alaskan Native infants, had significantly lower scores.

Read more at San Francisco Chronicle

Hep B Vaccine Should Be Given Sooner

The first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine should be given to babies within 24 hours of birth, new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics say.

Until now, the academy had recommended the vaccine be given by the baby's first checkup. Now, the risk of infection has increased with the ongoing opioid crisis, as more moms are getting infected with hepatitis B and passing the virus on to their babies, the authors of the new guidelines explained.

Read more at HealthDay

QOL Not Impaired for Parents of Now-Adults Born Very Preterm

Parents of adults who were very preterm (VP) or very low birth weight (VLBW) at birth have similar quality of life to that of parents of term adults, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in Pediatrics.

Dieter Wolke, Ph.D., from Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective whole-population study in Germany following 250 VP or VLBW and 230 term individuals and their parents (219 and 227, respectively) from birth to adulthood. The World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment and the Satisfaction with Life questionnaire were used to assess parental quality of life when offspring were adults (mean age, 27.3 adults).

Read more at Physician's Briefing.

Parents can have good quality of life when preemies are grownups

(Reuters Health) - Even though parents of premature babies may be more stressed out than other parents when their kids are young, their quality of life is similar to that of other parents by the time children are grown, a recent study suggests.

Researchers examined data on parents and babies from birth until the children were 27 years old on average. By the end of the study, parents’ quality of life did not differ according to how early their babies arrived, whether kids had disabilities or difficulties in school, or how well they had gotten along with other children.

Read more at Reuters