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Preemies gut bacteria may depend more on gestational age than environment
Scientists believe babies are born with digestive systems containing few or no bacteria. Their guts then quickly become colonized by microbes good and bad as they nurse or take bottles, receive medication and even as they are passed from one adoring relative to another. However, in infants born prematurely, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that the population of bacteria in babies gastrointestinal tracts may depend more on their biological makeup and gestational age at birth than on environmental factors.
Gloves After Hand Washing Associated with Fewer Infections in Preterm Babies
Late-onset infections (more than 72 hours after birth) and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC, tissue death in the intestines) can cause death and neurodevelopmental impairment in extremely premature babies. Even after hand washing, medical staff can still have microorganisms on their hands. This can be dangerous for extremely preterm newborns because of their immature immune systems and underdeveloped skin and mucosal barriers.
Study focuses on benefits of human milk for sick newborns
Human milk is infant food, but for sick, hospitalized babies, it's also medicine. That's the central premise of a series of articles in a neonatal nursing journal's special issue focused on human milk for sick newborns. The articles are being published during World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, 2014. Multiple public health and professional medical associations from the World Health Organization to the American Academy of Pediatrics have endorsed the widespread advantages of human milk and breastfeeding for all infants. A new issue of Advances in Neonatal Care is devoted to best practices in providing human milk to hospitalized infants.
Non-invasive urine test could be used to predict premature birth, delivery of small babies
Testing for the presence of specific molecules present in the urine of pregnant women can give an indication in early pregnancy of whether a baby will be born premature or the fetus will suffer poor growth, according to research. Identifying these conditions early in pregnancy could potentially help reduce complications and manage any difficulties, although more work is needed before the findings can be translated to clinical settings.
Sleep Environment Risks for Younger and Older Infants
Sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related causes of infant mortality have several known risk factors. Less is known about the association of those risk factors at different times during infancy. Our objective was to determine any associations between risk factors for sleep-related deaths at different ages.
Care for newborns with drug withdrawal uneven:?study
In the United States, one infant is born each hour with drug withdrawal, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), after being exposed to opioid medications like oxycodone in utero. Infants with NAS can have seizures, difficulty feeding, respiratory complications and low birth weights. Even though they are becoming more common, the medical care delivered to infants with the syndrome is strikingly variable, according to a study published in the Journal of Perinatology.
Impaired brain growth in preterm infants linked with delayed cognitive development
MRI aids in the identification of brain injuries in preterm infants. However, imaging results may not always correlate with future neurodevelopmental impairments, such as cognitive and behavioral challenges. The purpose of this study was to further understand (using MRI measurements) how brain injury and brain growth in VPT infants are related to developmental outcomes at 2 years of age. Researchers found that infants with higher grade brain injuries had delayed neurodevelopmental function at 2 years.
Preemies May Have Higher Risk of Blood Clots, Even as Adults
Babies born prematurely appear to have a slightly increased risk of potentially fatal blood clots that they will carry into adulthood, Swedish researchers report. Doctors have previously suspected that babies born earlier than 37 weeks' gestation have a raised risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, two serious conditions caused by blood clotting in the veins, the researchers noted in background information. This new study confirms that link, and takes it even further.
Preterm Children's Brains May Catch Up by the Time They're Teenagers
It turns out that there's some good news for preterm babies. While previous research has shown that preterm babies may have brains that fall behind those born at term, scientists have now found that by the time they become teenagers, the brains of preterm babies can catch up. "Every year, 10 percent of Australian babies are born preterm, and many studies have shown that these children often have cognitive difficulties in childhood," said Julia Pitcher, one of the lead authors of the new study, in a news release. "This new study has some positive news.
Congenital heart disease specialists develop nonsurgical technique to correct birth defects
A new technique for repairing the most common cardiac birth defect in newborns, commonly referred to as "a hole in the heart," has been used successfully to mend the condition in six premature infants without subjecting the tiny patients to open-heart surgery.