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Retinopathy of prematurity – not only an acute condition? An interview with Professor Armin Wolf

Interview with Professor Armin Wolf, Deputy Hospital Director, Eye Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a condition that is found in the eyes of very preterm born babies. It is characterised by changes in the developing blood vessels of the retina (the light-sensitive layer in the back of the eye that sends visual signals to the brain). If detected timely, it can usually be treated and a blindness can be prevented. Still, it is a condition of the…
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Single-family rooms vs. open-bay unit: new study reveals differences in psychological well-being of parents of very preterm babies depending on type of NICU design

In a study from Norway, researchers compared depression, anxiety, stress and attachment scores in parents of very preterm babies who were accommodated either in a single-family room (SFR) or in an open-bay (OB) unit. When a child is born preterm, parents often suffer from the immediate and lengthy separation from their babies in the hospital. As our instincts are programmed to take care of our…
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Enteral nutrition: how to support growth and development of preterm and ill newborns safely

Interview with Dr Corinna Gebauer, University Hospital Leipzig, Germany If a preterm baby or a hospitalized newborn cannot be fed normally, because they are not yet able to coordinate sucking and swallowing, for instance, then enteral feeding can be a way of nutritional support. In this interview, Dr Corinna Gebauer, from the University Hospital Leipzig, Germany, shares her expertise about nutritional support for newborns and the aspect…
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Series of RECAP cohorts – part 6: Follow-up of the POPS cohort in the Netherlands

Dr Sylvia van der Pal & Professor Erik Verrips In 1983, a unique nationwide cohort of 1.338 very preterm (below 32 weeks of gestation) or VLBW (birth weight below 1500 g) infants in the Netherlands was collected and followed at several ages; the POPS (Project On Preterm and Small for gestational age infants) cohort. The studies with the POPS cohort have provided insight into how Dutch adolescents who were born very preterm or VLBW reach adulthood. …
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Applying a “living guidelines” approach to keep recommendations up to date

How can the WHO most efficiently keep its global recommendations up to date? BMJ Global Health has recently published the insightful article "Developing and applying a 'living guidelines' approach to WHO recommendations on maternal and perinatal health", describing how the WHO successfully developed and applied a ‘living guidelines’ approach to its maternal and perinatal health (MPH) recommendations, based on a systematic and continuous process of prioritisation and updating. The new dynamic approach uses an evidence-informed, consultative prioritisation process, rapid updating…
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PARCA-R: Screening of cognitive and language delay in preterm born infants

The standardisation on over 6000 infants of the PARCA-R for the screening of cognitive and language delay has just been published in the Lancet Child & Adolescence Health. 6000 infants at the age of 2 were tested in cognitive and language development. PARCA-R stands for Parent Report of Children’s Abilities-Revised. It is a parent completed questionnaire that can be used to assess children's cognitive and language development at 24 months of age. The PARCA-R is used as an outcome measure…
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Establishing a human milk bank – an interview with Prof. Rolf Schlösser

Interview with Professor Rolf Schlösser, University Hospital Frakfurt, Germany Question: What were the reasons for establishing the human milk bank at the University Hospital Frankfurt? For a long time, our team has been working on how to improve the enteral nutrition of our preterm babies. With the very immature children, it is known that the intestine is not yet as well developed as with term born babies, especially…
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Series of RECAP cohorts – part 5: The Bavarian Longitudinal Study (BLS)/Bayerische Entwicklungsstudie (BEST)

Following our series about cohorts of the EU-funded project ‘Research on European Children and Adults born Preterm’ (RECAP preterm), we are delighted to give you an insight into The Bavarian Longitudinal Study (BLS)/Bayerische Entwicklungsstudie (BEST). It is led by Professor Dieter Wolke (University of Warwick, UK) and Professor Peter Bartmann (University Hospital Bonn, Germany). The BLS started off as a geographic whole population study of infants, who were born between January 1985 and March 1986 and admitted to neonatal special care…
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Parenteral nutrition for ill and preterm infants – meeting nutritional needs in the NICU

Interview with Professor Nadja Haiden, Medical University of Vienna, Austria Babies with a healthy digestive tract usually get their nutrition by drinking breastmilk and digesting. This provides the body with the nutrients necessary for growth and development. However, babies who are born very preterm or have certain illnesses often cannot be fed by mouth or by a feeding tube. In this case, they require so-called parenteral nutrition,…
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Perinatal palliative care: Giving parents support when a pregnancy goes wrong

Interview with Dr Fauzia Paize Perinatal palliative care (PPC) is a fairly new subspecialty within palliative care. What are the main ideas behind this new concept? Dr Paize: Healthcare professionals working in antenatal and neonatal services are accustomed to providing babies and families with sophisticated expert care using high levels of technical skills, communication and knowledge. However, there is a growing need for them to provide a palliative care approach throughout the pathways, which means a shifting of emphasis, ensuring…
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