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Changes in thresholds for treatment of extremely preterm infants – a study among neonatal experts in the UK

Through an online survey among UK neonatal staff, the thresholds and viability for treatment of extremely preterm infants (EPIs) were evaluated. Respondents reported a median grey zone for neonatal resuscitation between 22 and 24 weeks’ gestation. Compared with previous studies, the survey showed a shift in the threshold for resuscitation, with greater acceptance of active treatment for infants also below 23 weeks’ gestation. Infants born before 28 weeks of pregnancy are considered EPIs, and…
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Mistreatment of newborns after childbirth in health facilities in Nepal

An observational cohort study addresses the evidence gap on the mistreatment of newborns in hospitals in Nepal. The majority of the included newborns received some unnecessary or not-consented medical intervention, and one-quarter experienced disrespectful treatment. There was evidence of greater mistreatment among infants from disadvantaged ethnic groups and those born to younger mothers. Further interventions are required to reduce inequity and mistreatment of newborns. The rise in institutional births brings new challenges. These challenges…
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Association between maternal HIV infection and preterm birth

The treatment of HIV with antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) has improved people’s quality of life and extended their life span. This also leads to more HIV-infected women having children, as ARTs also protect the baby from contracting the virus. However, ARTs may cause negative effects on pregnancy outcomes, with increases in preterm birth rates. In the study by Elenga et al., pregnancy outcomes of HIV-positive mothers receiving different types of ART were compared to uninfected…
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Global analysis of neonatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic – a healthcare providers’ perspective

With COVID-19 disrupting neonatal health systems globally, a group of experts undertook a thematic analysis of healthcare providers’ experiences using a disseminated online survey. Results show high levels of stress on healthcare providers, disruption of newborn care practices, and lack of guidelines regarding preterm newborns and babies with low birthweight (LBW) during the pandemic. There is an urgent need to protect life-saving interventions. The implementation of the Every Newborn Action Plan in 2014 by…
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Family Rooms in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) and Neonatal Outcomes.

Research shows important benefits of parental involvement in neonatal intensive care. Parents spending  time with their newborns and especially their engagement in skin-to-skin contact has positive impacts on cognitive development of infants and lowers morbidity and mortality rates. To increase the time families spend with their preterm born babies in NICUs, some hospitals provide infant-parent rooms to allow parents to stay with their child 24 hours a day. To assess the availability and benefits of…
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Skin-to-skin contact between fathers and newborns improves their physiological parameters and wakefulness.

The common practice of separating infants from their parents after a caesarean section was put into question after a study showed that the skin-to-skin contact between the fathers and the newborn infants had significant advantages in achieving their stable physiological parameters and wakefulness.  Motivated by the known benefits of an early mother-infant skin-to-skin contact, a randomised controlled study was conducted to determine if this could also be the case with fathers. The goal was…
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Preterm care during COVID-19 and the survival benefit of kangaroo mother care

Given the disruption of neonatal health services through the COVID-19 pandemic, a two-scenarios-analysis was conducted to weigh the risk of not implementing kangaroo mother care (KMC) among neonates with neonatal deaths from COVID-19. The undeniable survival benefit of KMC far outweighs the small risk of death due to the virus and encourage its practice. There are conflicting global guidelines on mother-newborn care during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly regarding kangaroo mother care…
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Vaccines during pregnancy protect mother and baby from infectious diseases

A selective literature survey by Röbl-Mathieu et al. discusses how vaccines can prevent infectious diseases in pregnant women as well as in unborn and newborn babies. The authors conclude that vaccines are a central element in ante- and postnatal care since they protect the pregnant woman as well as her baby both before and after birth from infectious diseases. To illustrate their argument, Röbl-Mathieu et al. refer to the current vaccination guidelines for tetanus, influenza, pertussis, and hepatitis B for…
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Paediatric clinical trials: industry and non-industry bringing different strengths together

Clinical trials are an essential part of advancing knowledge and improving healthcare worldwide. Advances in paediatric research across the globe to improve the lives of babies, children and young people have dramatically reduced rates in morbidity and mortality and increased the quality of life, for example, reducing sudden infant death, increasing the life expectancy for children with thalassemia, cystic fibrosis etc. Clinical trials within the paediatric population can be conducted as…
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Pre-pregnancy overweight as a risk factor for postpartum depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects 10 to 15% of women after giving birth worldwide. PPD is a depressive disorder characterised by fear of failure, emotional ambivalence, and major depressive symptoms which can ultimately impact maternal caregiving and lead to a disturbed mother-to-infant relationship. This in turn can influence the newborn’s long-term development. Thus, identification of underlying risk factors is important. The aetiology of PPD is still not completely understood. Therefore, several studies endeavoured to shed…
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