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עמוד בית
Mon, 27.05.24

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October 2021
Mor Cohen-Eilig MD, Noa Bar Lis MSc, Ayelet Livneh MD, and Haim Bassan MD

Background: Cystic periventricular leukomalacia (cPVL) is a strong indicator of subsequent motor and developmental impairments in premature infants. There is a paucity of publications on biomarkers of cPVL.

Objectives: To determine C-reactive protein (CRP) levels during the first week of life of preterm infants who later developed cPVL and to identify the association between CRP levels with perinatal factors.

Methods: We retrospectively included infants ≤ 32 weeks gestation and/or birth weights ≤ 1500 grams; 17 with a cranial ultrasound diagnosis of cPVL and 54 with normal ultrasounds. Serum CRP levels were measured during days 1-7 (CRP1–7d) of life and subdivided into two timing groups: days 1–3 (CRP1–3d) and days 4-7 (CRP4–7d).

Results: The cPVL group had significantly higher mean CRP4–7d levels compared to controls (12.75 ± 21.2 vs. 2.23 ± 3.1, respectively, P = 0.03), while CRP1–3d levels were similar. CRP1–7d levels were significantly correlated with maximal fraction of inspired oxygen during the first 12 hours of life (FiO2-12h, r = 0.51, P < 0.001]. Additional risk factors were not associated with CRP levels.

Conclusions: Our finding of elevated CRP4-7d levels and later development of cPVL supports earlier studies on the involvement of inflammation in the pathogenesis of cPVL. Whether CRP could serve as a biomarker of cPVL and its correlation with outcomes, awaits further trials. Furthermore, the correlation between FiO2-12h and CRP1–7d levels suggest that hypoxia and/or hyperoxia may serve as a trigger in the activation of inflammation during the first days of life of preterm infants

February 2021
Marwan Hanna Pharm D and Ram Mazkereth MD

Extremely preterm infants are at high risk for mortality and morbidity including neurodevelopmental impairment from invasive Candida infections. Prophylactic antifungal therapy has been shown to reduce both colonization and invasive candidemia in high-risk preterm infants. Prophylactic treatment should be started in the first 48 to 72 hours after birth to extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants (weighing ≤ 1000 grams at birth) or below 27 weeks gestation age with risk factors, or in any NICU with moderate (5–10%) or high (≥ 10%) rates of invasive candidiasis. Studies demonstrated the benefits of fluconazole prophylaxis regarding its safety of the short-term and long-term without the development of fungal resistance. Empiric antifungal therapy may lower mortality and improve outcomes

September 2020
Ella Schwarzmann Aley-Raz MD, Gil Talmon MD, Marina Peniakov MD, Jamal Hasanein MD, Clari Felszer-Fisch MD and Scott A. Weiner MD

Background: Neonatal hypothermia (< 36°C) has been associated with both neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To develop a multifactorial approach to reduce the incidence of neonatal hypothermia at admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Methods: The approach involved a detailed quality improvement (QI) plan, which included the use of occlusive wrapping and exothermic mattresses as well as higher delivery and operating room environmental temperatures. The improvement plan was implemented over a 10-month period. Retrospective comparison to the same 10-month period during the previous year assessed the effectiveness of the approach in reducing the incidence of admission hypothermia.

Results: The QI project included 189 patients. These patients were compared to 180 patients during the control period. The characteristics of the patient groups were similar and included preterm infants, who were subsequently analyzed as a subgroup. We found a significant reduction in the incidence of hypothermia, which was most profound for the subgroup of premature infants born at < 32 weeks gestation. Neonatal hyperthermia was identified as an unintended consequence of the project, and subsequently improved after initiating simple preventive measures.

Conclusions: Occlusive wrapping, exothermic mattresses, and higher delivery and operating room environmental temperature may be successful in reducing admission neonatal hypothermia

November 2015
Oren Gordon MD PhD, Sinan Abu-Leil MD, Yotam Almagor MD, Elite Cohen MD, Alexander Margulis MD, Dan Arbell MD, Benjamin Bar-Oz and Smadar Eventov-Friedman MD PhD
June 2014
Nadav Michaan MD, Yaron Gil MD, Sagi Amzalag MD, Ido Laskov MD, Joseph Lessing MD and Ariel Many MD

Background: A growing number of Eritrean and Sudanese refugees seek medical assistance in the labor and delivery ward of our facility. Providing treatment to this unique population is challenging since communication is limited and pregnancy follow-up is usually absent.

Objectives: To compare the perinatal outcome of refugees and Israeli parturients.

Methods: The medical and financial records of all refugees delivered between May 2010 and April 2011 were reviewed. Perinatal outcome was compared to that of native Israeli controls.

Results: During this period 254 refugees were delivered (2.3% of deliveries). Refugees were significantly younger and leaner. They had significantly more premature deliveries under 37 weeks (23 vs. 10, P = 0.029) and under 34 weeks gestation (9 vs. 2, P = 0.036) with more admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit (15 vs. 5, P = 0.038). Overall cesarean section rate was similar but refugees required significantly more urgent surgeries (97% vs. 53%, P = 0.0001). Refugees had significantly more cases of meconium and episiotomies but fewer cases of epidural analgesia. There were 2 intrauterine fetal deaths among refugees, compared to 13 of 11,239 deliveries during this time period (P = 0.036), as well as 7 pregnancy terminations following sexual assault during their escape. Sixty-eight percent of refugees had medical fees outstanding with a total debt of 2,656,000 shekels (US$ 767,250).

Conclusions: The phenomenon of African refugees giving birth in our center is of unprecedented magnitude and bears significant medical and ethical implications. Refugees proved susceptible to adverse perinatal outcomes compared to their Israeli counterparts. Setting a pregnancy follow-up plan could, in the long run, prevent adverse outcomes and reduce costs involved in treating this population.

December 2013
Arie Drugan, Irena Ulanovsky, Yechiel Burke, Shraga Blazer and Amir Weissman
 Background: Reduction of fetal number has been offered in high order multiple gestations but is still controversial in triplets. Since recent advances in neonatal and obstetric care have greatly improved outcome, the benefits of multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) may no longer exist in triplet gestations.

Objectives: To evaluate if fetal reduction of triplets to twins improves outcome.

Methods: We analyzed the outcome of 80 triplet gestations cared for at Rambam Health Care Campus in the last decade; 34 families decided to continue the pregnancy as triplets and 46 opted for MFPR to twins.

Results: The mean gestational age at delivery was 32.3 weeks for triplets and 35.6 weeks for twins after MFPR. Severe prematurity (delivery before 32 gestational weeks) was experienced in 37.5% of triplets and in 7% of twins. Consequently, the rate of severe neonatal morbidity (respiratory distress syndrome, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intraventricular hemorrhage) and of neonatal death was significantly higher in unreduced triplets, as was the length of hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit (31.4 vs. 15.7, respectively). Overall, the likelihood of a family with triplets to take home all three neonates was 80%; the likelihood to take home three healthy babies was 71.5%.

Conclusions: MFPR reduces the risk of severe prematurity and the neonatal morbidity of triplets. A secondary benefit is the reduction of cost of care per survivor. Our results indicate that MFPR should be offered in triplet gestations.

February 2011
January 2010
M. Godfrey, M.S. Schimmel, C. Hammerman, B. Farber, J. Glaser and A. Nir

Background: The incidence of congenital heart defects, reported to be 5–8/1000 in term infants, is not well established in very low birth weight infants.


Objectives: To establish the incidence of congenital heart defects in VLBW[1] infants in the neonatal intensive care unit of our institution.


Methods: A retrospective analysis of the population in the NICU[2] at our institution was performed. VLBW (BW ≤ 1500 g) infants born between 2001 and 2006 who survived more than 48 hours were included in the study. Infants with clinical signs of heart disease underwent echocardiography.

Results: During the study period 437 VLBW live-born infants met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 281 (64.3 %) underwent echocardiography. CHD[3] was detected in 19 infants (4.4%, 95% confidence interval 2.4–5.4%), significantly higher than the incidence of 5–8/1000 in the general population (P < 0.0001). In the subgroup of 154 infants with BW < 1000 g there were 10 (6.5%) with CHD. In the subgroup of 283 infants with BW 100–-1500 g there were 9 (3.2 %, P = 0.19 vs. VLBW) with CHD.


Conclusions:  Our observations show an increased incidence of CHD in VLBW neonates, as compared to the general population. Since not all infants underwent echocardiography, and minor cardiac defects may have been missed in our VLBW infants, the true incidence may be higher than reported here.


 






[1] VLBW = very low birth weight



[2] NICU = neonatal intensive care unit



[3] CHD = congenital heart disease


December 2007
D. Arbell, E. Gross, A. Preminger, Y Naveh, R. Udassin and I. Gur

Background: Babies born with extreme prematurity and low birth weight (< 1000 g) present a unique treatment challenge. In addition to the complexity of achieving survival, they may require surgical interventions for abdominal emergencies. Usually, these infants are transferred to a referral center for surgery treatment. Since 2000 our approach is bedside abdominal surgery at the referring center.

Objectives: To evaluate whether the approach of bedside abdominal surgery at the referring center is safe and perhaps even beneficial for the baby.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our data since 2000 and included only babies weighing < 1000 g who were ventilated, suffered from hemodynamic instability and underwent surgery for perforated bowel at the referring neonatal unit. Results were analyzed according to survival from the acute event (> 1 week), survival from the abdominal disease (> 30 days) and survival to discharge.

Results: Twelve babies met the inclusion criteria. Median weight at operation was 850 g (range 620–1000 g) and median age at birth was 25 weeks (range 23–27). Eleven infants survived the acute event (91.7%), 9 survived more than 30 days (81.8%), and 5 survived to discharge.

Conclusions: Our results show that bedside laparotomy at the referring hospital is safe and feasible. A larger randomized study is indicated to prove the validity of this approach.

 
 

October 1999
Shaul Dollberg MD and Francis B. Mimouni MD
 Background and Objective: Very low birthweight infants (<1,500 g birthweight) often develop significant anemia that requires multiple blood transfusions, which carry a significant risk. Erythropoietin therapy is known to reduce the need for blood transfusions in preterm VLBW(1) infants. Analysis of cost had been reported in prospective studies with conflicting results. No studies comparing the cost-effectiveness of EPO(2) have been reported during routine use in preterm VLBW infants.

Methods: We compared the cost of treating anemia of prematurity in two consecutive 12-month periods: before and after the introduction of EPO therapy in our unit. The cost of blood bank charges as well as disposable items and the cost of EPO were compared.

Results: A significantly smaller number of infants required blood transfusions in the EPO group (2 of 25 vs. 9/21 before EPO was introduced). The cost of therapy for anemia of prematurity was significantly smaller in the EPO group (128±168 US$ per infant vs. 151±189 US$ per infant before the introduction of EPO).

Conclusion: We conclude that EPO is an efficient and cost-effective alternative to blood transfusions in VLBW infants.

________________________________

(1) VLBW = very low birthweight

(2) EPO = erythropoietin

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