Preemie Matters – September 2010

In this issue of Preemie Matters: New Q&A Raises Preeclampsia Awareness • Gets the Word Out on RSV  •  CDC Study on Congenital Heart Defects & Neonatal Mortality  •  Soft Drinks Linked to Preterm Delivery?  •  Web Resource: Baby First

New Q&A Raises Preeclampsia Awareness

Following the death of her infant daughter due to preeclampsia complications, Eleni Tsigas emerged as an advocate for others who suffer from the sometimes devastating impact of this condition - a major cause of prematurity and of maternal and infant death around the world. The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) Coalition's new Q&A with Eleni, now Executive Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation, informs partners in public health about how they can help raise awareness toward early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Gets the Word Out on RSV

This month the health information hub features a new article for consumers, "RSV: Is Your Baby at Risk?" The story includes key statements from Dr. Mitchell Goldstein, president of the National Perinatal Association (NPA) and chair of NPA's RSV Guideline Committee. Among the take-away messages: Babies born before 36 weeks' gestation are at increased risk for serious complications of the RSV virus, due to their immature immune systems and underdeveloped lungs. You can help protect infant health by sharing this information on preventing, recognizing the symptoms of, and getting medical attention for RSV with colleagues and preemie families.

CDC Study on Congenital Heart Defects & Neonatal Mortality

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new study on neonatal deaths due to congenital heart defects - which are associated with preterm delivery and are the largest contributor to neonatal death attributed to birth defects. Among the findings: 4.2% of all deaths in the first 27 days of life were due to a congenital heart defect. Such deaths were 30% lower among preterm infants born to black mothers, compared to preterm infants born to white mothers. However, among term infants, those born to black mothers had 20% higher neonatal mortality attributable to congenital heart defects, compared to those born to whites. Why the racial differences by gestational age? The study's authors say it's unclear, and they call for additional study that looks at prenatal diagnosis, prevalence at birth of congenital heart defects and reporting of causes of death.

Soft Drinks Linked to Preterm Delivery?

A study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds an association between high intake of artificially-sweetened soft drinks and the risk of preterm delivery. However, the association was not found with sugar-sweetened soft drinks, and the authors call for additional investigation. In WebMD's coverage, the lead researcher frames his findings for the public: "We simply need more studies to confirm or reject our findings. It is, however, reasonable to encourage pregnant women to eat healthy and consume non-nutritive foods and beverages in moderation."

Web Resource: Baby First

Do you know about the Baby First site for clinicians and parents? This resource from the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) covers key subject areas for care providers, including thermoregulation, jaundice management, NICU designs, anesthesia, complementary practices, developmental care and vital signs monitoring. For parents, Baby First provides information around the NICU experience, a primer on prematurity, life after the NICU, a glossary of NICU terms, useful links and the opportunity to read and share parent stories and "baby heroes."


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.