Preemie Matters – October 2010

In this issue of Preemie Matters: Professional Organizations Respond to AAP's New Guidelines on RSV Protection  •  Partner Spotlight: Graham's Foundation  •  PREEMIE Act Up for Reauthorization  •  Toolkit Aims at Eliminating Unnecessary Early Deliveries  •  Position at CDC: Director, National Center on Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities

Professional Organizations Respond to AAP's New Guidelines on RSV Protection

Healthcare professionals are responding to recent changes in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines on immunoprophylaxis (passive antibody protection). Last week the National Medical Association (NMA) and National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) released a consensus report on RSV (now available for download on HMHB's homepage). Concerned that AAP's new guidelines may leave some infants unprotected from RSV, the NMA/NBNA panel recommended that additional research be conducted to ensure that physicians provide maximum protection to children at risk for RSV. Additionally, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) and the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NANNP) are leading a petition effort calling on members and friends to join forces in advocacy, with a statement that reads, in part, "We believe that recent changes in the AAP guidelines...leave many fragile infants vulnerable by reducing the number of doses they can receive during the RSV season. We believe that denial of full seasonal coverage on the basis of gestational age, without consideration of other risk factors, is discriminatory to a select population of ex-premature infants." NANN and NANNP plan to forward the final petition to CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Partner Spotlight: Graham's Foundation

Graham's Foundation is a nonprofit support organization founded by parents of micro-preemies for parents of micro-preemies. They provide care packages and a website offering both practical and emotional support to families during their time in the neonatal ICU (NICU) - and beyond. "We know the roller-coaster ride parents of micro-preemies face," say Nick and Jennifer Hall, who established the foundation in 2009 in memory of their son Graham, who passed away 45 days after his premature birth at 25 weeks' gestation. His twin sister, Reece, spent four months in the NICU. To learn more about Graham's Foundation, make a care package request, donate items for care packages, volunteer, or explore bringing the program to a NICU near you, visit

PREEMIE Act Up for Reauthorization

Late last month Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced legislation to reauthorize the PREEMIE (Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers Who Deliver Infants Early) Act, whose statute expires at the end of fiscal year 2011. Reauthorization would continue and enhance federal support for research and prevention efforts related to premature birth and infant mortality caused by prematurity. Specifically, the bill would expand the work supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to include initiatives such as trans-disciplinary research centers and new epidemiological studies.

Toolkit Aims at Eliminating Unnecessary Early Deliveries

A new, downloadable toolkit for obstetrics providers, clinical staff, hospitals and healthcare organizations aims at curbing the rising number of elective, non-medically-necessary early labor inductions and cesareans. Created by March of Dimes with the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) and the California Department of Public Health, this set of quality-improvement resources is developed by academic and clinical leaders to eliminate elective deliveries before 39 weeks' gestation. Among the tools are a step-by-step guide to help hospital leaders implement policies and best practices, recommendations for measuring and tracking program effectiveness and materials for educating clinicians and patients about the negative impact of elective early delivery.

Position at CDC: Director, National Center on Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted the position of Director, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) and will accept applicants until November 24, 2010. This senior executive position has broad operating authority and is responsible for overall planning, direction and management of the National Center; is accountable for executing program goals that are results-oriented; and ultimately is the responsible official charged with ensuring the scientific rigor of the Center's activities. Learn more about this opportunity at the NCBDDD website.


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.