Preemie Matters – September 2009

In this issue of Preemie Matters: Resources for National Infant Mortality Awareness Month 2009  •  New Tools for Improving Pediatric Emergency Care  •  Registration Open for National Summit on Prematurity  •  On-Demand Webinar from AWHONN: Late Preterm Risk Assessment Protocol  •  New Research: Preterm Birth Affects Linguistic Ability Through Preschool Years

Resources for National Infant Mortality Awareness Month 2009

Prematurity is the leading cause of infant mortality. And now, to mark September as National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, the HHS Office of Minority Health is sponsoring event listings and providing links to materials and information for nonprofit organizations, members of the media, and students and partners in the field. Among the resources available are the 2009 National Infant Mortality Awareness Month Tool Kit, information on the Crisis in the Crib program, a documentary on African American infant mortality, fact sheets, referrals to topic experts, and connections to many many partners in maternal-child health who are working actively on the problem of infant mortality in the United States. To visit the Office of Minority Health's one-stop resource page, click here.

New Tools for Improving Pediatric Emergency Care

Several leaders in pediatric emergency care have recently released important new resources. Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics released the AAP/American College of Emergency Physicians/Emergency Nurses Association joint policy statement, "Guidelines for Care of Children in the Emergency Department." Endorsed by 22 other national organizations, this statement offers recommendations for essential equipment, medications, personnel training and key policies necessary for optimal pediatric emergency care. It also offers recommendations that should promote improved hospital readiness for children in disasters, regardless of the size or location of the facility. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a "Access to Trauma Centers in the United States" fact sheet and interactive mapping tool, which are important for raising awareness and improving access to trauma centers around the country. This new tool, created in partnership with the American Trauma Society and the University of Pennsylvania, shows the location of all hospitals and trauma centers (Levels I-IV) across the country. Individuals can click on the map to find trauma centers and hospitals closest to them. The CDC encourages organizations to promote these materials and place (or link to) the mapping tool on your own website.

Registration Open for National Summit on Prematurity

Registration is open for a first-of-its-kind national summit, the Symposium on Quality Improvement to Prevent Prematurity, set for October 8-9 in Arlington, VA, sponsored by March of Dimes and several other notable partners in maternal-child health. Among the many scheduled speakers are Mark Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, President of The Joint Commission; Carolyn Clancy, MD, Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at HHS; March of Dimes President Jennifer Howse, PhD; and Jose Cordero, MD, MPH, Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico. For more details and to register, click here.

On-Demand Webinar from AWHONN: Late Preterm Risk Assessment Protocol

Did you know? One of two new on-demand webinars offered by the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) focuses specifically on the late preterm infant. Nurses completing the webinar learn how to protect and identify late preterm infants - born between 34 and 36 weeks - who may appear healthy but are at risk for serious health complications. Presented by Anne Jorgensen, RNC, MS, NNP, the webinar is helping MCH professionals increase their expertise in caring for these babies and addressing their unique needs. This continuing ed opportunity allows a self-paced approach. To learn more, click here.

New Research: Preterm Birth Affects Linguistic Ability Through Preschool Years

A new study published in the September issue of the journal Early Human Development finds that even when brain damage is avoided, preterm birth continues to impact children's language development through the preschool years, and probably beyond. The research team worked with 70 six-year-old monolingual preterm children and 34 age-matched controls, looking at linguistic abilities (vocabulary, grammar, phonological awareness) and general cognitive developmental levels. While no general cognitive delays were found among the preterm children, less developed linguistic abilities were found in all three measures, comapared to full-term children. These findings suggest that preterm children at the end of the preschool years still have negatively affected rates of language development. For the abstract, click here.


Information is reported as provided and does not necessarily represent the view of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. A complete copy of HMHB's disclaimer is available on our website.