Preemie Matters - July 2012

In this issue of Preemie Matters - Register for our upcoming Webinar  •  Federal report shows a drop in preterm birth rates and infant mortaility  •  The Fragile Beginnings Preemie Parent Alliance, is featured at the 2012 BIO International Convention  •  We profile ROPARD  •  Research links hypoglycemia and developmental delays in preterm children  •  Consumer Reports gives over half of hospitals a safety score below 50 on a scale of 100.

NPIHC Webinar: August 9 - Vision Development & the Link to Overall Development in the Premature Infant

Join us on Thursday, August 9th from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern Time for our next webinar, "Vision Development and the Link to Overall Development in the Premature Infant." Our speaker, Glen T. Steele, O.D. FCOVD, will provide a focused discussion of the most prevalent and significant issues involved in eye and vision care and development during infancy. Professor at the Southern College of Optometry in the Pediatric Service and chair of the American Optometric Association InfantSEE® Committee, Dr. Steele will focus on when problems are discovered and early intervention options for children. He will also present information on incidence of vision problems in premature infants, how vision links to overall development, current approaches to care and opportunities for parents and providers to positively impact the lives of these children. Register today!

New Report: Federal Statistics Show Drop in Preterm Birth Rates, Infant Mortality

The nation's preterm birth rate and infant mortality rate continue to decline, according to the U.S. federal government's annual statistical report,"America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2012." The proportion of infants born before 37 weeks' gestation dropped from 12.2 percent in 2009 to 12.0 percent in 2010. The rate of child deaths before the first birthday dropped from 6.4 percent per 1,000 births in 2009 to 6.1 per 1,000 births in 2010. The report is compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a working group of 22 federal agencies that produce and use data on child and family issues.

Partner News: Massachusetts Prematurity Network Featured at BIO International Convention

The Massachusetts prematurity network, the Fragile Beginnings Preemie Parent Alliance, was recently featured at the 2012 BIO International Convention, which brought together more than 16,500 leaders in the biotechnology industry from 49 states and 65 countries. The Fragile Beginnings collaboration was highlighted in a panel discussion entitled, "Biotech, Parents and Providers Partnering Together for Preemies" thanks to MedImmune's steadfast support of the Massachusetts network- and many others across the country. All four panelists (three of whom are preemie parents themselves) emphasized that prematurity extends far and long beyond the NICU, and that families should not travel this journey alone. Find excerpts from the panel discussion on YouTube.

Partner Profile: The Association of Retinopathy of Prematurity & Related Diseases (ROPARD)

ROPARD is an organization dedicated to eliminating problems of low vision and blindness in children caused by premature birth and retinal disease through clinically relevant research. To assist parents in understanding ROP, ROPARD sells books on the development of ROP babies and brochures about the importance of early pediatric ophthalmology appoints and describes in detail the stages of ROP. In 2001, ROPARD opened the Children's Low Vision Resource Center in Michigan to assist parents of children who are diagnosed as visually impaired or blind. Parents learn about appropriate toys, low vision aids and devices, educational equipment, books, and DVDs. Parent advisors are available to help parents become the primary facilitators in the development for their child. All services and materials are provided free of charge. Check out the ROPARD website for the books, brochures and more information about services

New Research: Hypoglycemia's Link to Developmental Delays in Children Born Preterm

New research published in the July 9 issue of Pediatrics suggests that better monitoring and timely treatment of hypoglycemia - low blood sugar - in preemies could help prevent developmental delays. The cohort included 832 moderately preterm children, assessed at ages 43 to 49 months using an Ages and Stages Questionnaire with parents and data from the children's medical records. After looking at associations of neonatal characteristics with developmental delays and adjusting for gender, small-for-gestational-age status, gestational age, and maternal education, they found that only hypoglycemia increased the risk of developmental delay at preschool age. The authors recommend that "a concerted effort to prevent hypoglycemia might enhance developmental outcome in this group."

New Report: Safety Challenges in America's Hospitals

Among American women who give birth in hospitals and preemie parents whose infants receive treatment in hospitals - often for extended periods - a new report on safety concerns is getting attention. More than half of the U.S. hospitals recently rated by Consumer Reports received a safety score below 50, on a scale of 1 to 100, leading to media coverage by networks including CBS News. Even the highest-scoring hospitals in the ratings have room for improvement, in areas including infection prevention, readmissions, radiation overload, medical harm, and overall safety performance. However, as they point out, the Consumer Reports ratings do not assess how successful hospitals are at treating medical conditions and are not the only sources that should be used to measure hospital safety and quality.


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.