• Antenatal management of the expectant mother and extreme preterm infant at the limits of viability.

      Khan, R; Burgoyne, L; O'Connell, M; Dempsey, E M; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork. (2012-01-31)
      We explored the opinions of healthcare providers on the antenatal management and outcome of preterm delivery at less than 28 weeks gestation. An anonymous postal questionnaire was sent to health care providers. The response rate was 55% (74% Obstetrician, 70% neonatologist). Twenty four weeks is the limit at which most would advocate intervention. At 23 weeks 67% of neonatologists advocate antenatal steroids. 50% of all health care providers advocate cardiotocographic monitoring at 24 weeks gestation. Written information on survival and long-term outcome is provided by 8% of the respondents. Neonatologists (50%) were more likely than obstetrician (40%) to advocate caesarean section at 25 weeks. We conclude that 24 weeks is the limit at which most would advocate intervention. Significant variation exists both between and within each health care group at less than 25 weeks. Establishment and provision of national outcome data may aid decision making at the limits of viability.
    • Are fathers underused advocates for breastfeeding?

      Kenosi, M; Hawkes, C P; Dempsey, E M; Ryan, C A (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2011-11)
      Fathers' knowledge base and attitudes influence breastfeeding practice. We aimed to evaluate if Irish fathers felt included in the breastfeeding education and decision process. 67 fathers completed questionnaires, which assessed their role in the decision to breastfeed, knowledge regarding the benefits of breastfeeding and attitude towards breastfeeding.Forty-two (62.7%) of their partners were breastfeeding. Antenatal classes were attended by 38 (56.7%); 59 (88.1%) discussed breastfeeding with their partners and 26 (38.8%) felt that the decision was made together. Twelve (48%) fathers of formula fed infants were unaware that breastfeeding was healthier for the baby. Most fathers (80.6%) felt that breastfeeding was the mother's decision and most (82.1%) felt that antenatal information was aimed at mothers only. Irish fathers remain relatively uninformed regarding the benefits of breastfeeding. This may contribute to their exclusion from the decision to breastfeed. Antenatal education should incorporate fathers more, and this may result in an improvement in our breastfeeding rates.
    • Banked preterm versus banked term human milk to promote growth and development in very low birth weight infants.

      Dempsey, Eugene; Miletin, Jan; Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Human milk banking has been available in many countries for the last three decades. The milk provided from milk banking is predominantly term breast milk, but some milk banks provide preterm breast milk. There are a number of differences between donor term and donor preterm human milk. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of banked preterm milk compared with banked term milk regarding growth and developmental outcome in very low birth weight infants (infants weighing less than 1500 g). SEARCH STRATEGY: We used the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group, including a search of the Cochrane Neonatal Group specialized register and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library, January 2010). We searched the computerised bibliographic databases MEDLINE (1966 to February 2010), EMBASE (1988 to February 2010) and Web of Science (1975 to February 2010). We searched reference lists of all selected articles, review articles and the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials. We also searched abstracts from neonatal and pediatric meetings (PAS electronic version from 2000 to 2009, ESPR hand search from 2000 to 2009). We applied no language restrictions. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and quasi-randomised trials comparing banked donor preterm milk with banked donor term milk regarding growth and developmental outcomes in very low birth weight infants DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We planned to perform assessment of methodology regarding blinding of randomisation, intervention and outcome measurements as well as completeness of follow-up. We planned to evaluate treatment effect using a fixed-effect model using relative risk (RR), relative risk reduction, risk difference (RD) and number needed to treat (NNT) for categorical data and using mean, standard deviation and weighted mean difference (WMD) for continuous data. We planned an evaluation of heterogeneity. MAIN RESULTS: No studies met the inclusion criteria. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There are no randomised trials that compare preterm banked milk to banked term milk to promote growth and development in very low birth weight infants.
    • Benchmarking care for very low birthweight infants in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

      Murphy, B P; Armstrong, K; Ryan, C A; Jenkins, J G; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork,, Ireland. brendanpaul.murphy@hse.ie (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Benchmarking is that process through which best practice is identified and continuous quality improvement pursued through comparison and sharing. The Vermont Oxford Neonatal Network (VON) is the largest international external reference centre for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. This report from 2004-7 compares survival and morbidity throughout Ireland and benchmarks these results against VON. METHODS: A standardised VON database for VLBW infants was created in 14 participating centres across Ireland and Northern Ireland. RESULTS: Data on 716 babies were submitted in 2004, increasing to 796 babies in 2007, with centres caring for from 10 to 120 VLBW infants per year. In 2007, mortality rates in VLBW infants varied from 4% to 19%. Standardised mortality ratios indicate that the number of deaths observed was not significantly different from the number expected, based on the characteristics of infants treated. There was no difference in the incidence of severe intraventricular haemorrhage between all-Ireland and VON groups (5% vs 6%, respectively). All-Ireland rates for chronic lung disease (CLD; 15-21%) remained lower than rates seen in the VON group (24-28%). The rates of late onset nosocomial infection in the all-Ireland group (25-26%) remained double those in the VON group (12-13%). DISCUSSION: This is the first all-Ireland international benchmarking report in any medical specialty. Survival, severe intraventricular haemorrhage and CLD compare favourably with international standards, but rates of nosocomial infection in neonatal units are concerning. Benchmarking clinical outcomes is critical for quality improvement and informing decisions concerning neonatal intensive care service provision.
    • Blood carbon dioxide levels and adverse outcome in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

      Nadeem, Montasser; Murray, Deirdre; Boylan, Geraldine; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, C Anthony; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      We investigated pCO(2) patterns and the relationship between pCO(2) levels and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Blood gases during the first 72 hours of life were collected from 52 infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Moderate hypocapnia (pCO(2) <3.3 kPa), severe hypocapnia (pCO(2) <2.6 kPa), and hypercapnia (pCO(2) >6.6 kPa) were correlated to neurodevelopmental outcome at 24 months. Normocapnia was documented in 416/551 (75.5%) of samples and was present during the entire 72 hours in only 6 out of 52 infants. Mean (standard deviation) pCO(2) values did not differ between infants with normal and abnormal outcomes: 5.43 (2.4) and 5.41 (2.03), respectively. There was no significant association between moderate hypocapnia, severe hypocapnia, or hypercapnia and adverse outcome (odds ratio [OR] = 1.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.49 to 6.89; OR = 3.16, CI = 0.14 to 28.45; and OR = 1.07, CI = 0.24 to 5.45, respectively). In conclusion, only one in nine newborns had normocapnia throughout the first 72 hours. Severe hypocapnia was rare and occurred only in ventilated babies. Hypercapnia and hypocapnia in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy during the first 72 hours of life were not associated with adverse outcome.
    • Changes in the metabolic footprint of placental explant-conditioned medium cultured in different oxygen tensions from placentas of small for gestational age and normal pregnancies.

      Horgan, R P; Broadhurst, D I; Dunn, W B; Brown, M; Heazell, A E P; Kell, D B; Baker, P N; Kenny, L C; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork, Cork, University Maternity Hospital, The Anu Research Centre, Cork, Ireland., richard.horgan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      Being born small for gestational age (SGA) confers significantly increased risks of perinatal morbidity and mortality. Accumulating evidence suggests that an SGA fetus results from a poorly perfused and abnormally developed placenta. Some of the placental features seen in SGA, such as abnormal cell turnover and impaired nutrient transport, can be reproduced by culture of placental explants in hypoxic conditions. Metabolic footprinting offers a hypothesis-generating strategy to investigate factors absorbed by and released from this tissue in vitro. Previously, metabolic footprinting of the conditioned culture media has identified differences in placental explants cultured under normoxic and hypoxic conditions and between normal pregnancies and those complicated by pre-eclampsia. In this study we aimed to examine the differences in the metabolic footprint of placental villous explants cultured at different oxygen (O(2)) tensions between women who deliver an SGA baby (n = 9) and those from normal controls (n = 8). Placental villous explants from cases and controls were cultured for 96 h in 1% (hypoxic), 6% (normoxic) and 20% (hyperoxic) O(2). Metabolic footprints were analysed by Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to an electrospray hybrid LTQ-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS). 574 metabolite features showed significant difference between SGA and normal at one or more of the oxygen tensions. SGA explant media cultured under hypoxic conditions was observed, on a univariate level, to exhibit the same metabolic signature as controls cultured under normoxic conditions in 49% of the metabolites of interest, suggesting that SGA tissue is acclimatised to hypoxic conditions in vivo. No such behaviour was observed under hyperoxic culture conditions. Glycerophospholipid and tryptophan metabolism were highlighted as areas of particular interest.
    • Early blood glucose profile and neurodevelopmental outcome at two years in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

      Nadeem, Montasser; Murray, Deirdre M; Boylan, Geraldine B; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, Cornelius A; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: To examine the blood glucose profile and the relationship between blood glucose levels and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. METHODS: Blood glucose values within 72 hours of birth were collected from 52 term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Hypoglycaemia [< 46.8 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)] and hyperglycaemia [> 150 mg/dL (8.3 mmol/L)] were correlated to neurodevelopmental outcome at 24 months of age. RESULTS: Four fifths of the 468 blood samples were in the normoglycaemic range (392/468:83.8%). Of the remaining 76 samples, 51.3% were in the hypoglycaemic range and (48.7%) were hyperglycaemic. A quarter of the hypoglycaemic samples (28.2%:11/39) and a third of the hyperglycaemic samples (32.4%:12/37) were recorded within the first 30 minutes of life. Mean (SD) blood glucose values did not differ between infants with normal and abnormal outcomes [4.89(2.28) mmol/L and 5.02(2.35) mmol/L, p value = 0.15] respectively. In term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, early hypoglycaemia (between 0-6 hours of life) was associated with adverse outcome at 24 months of age [OR = 5.8, CI = 1.04-32)]. On multivariate analysis to adjust for grade of HIE this association was not statistically significant. Late hypoglycaemia (6-72 hours of life) was not associated with abnormal outcome [OR = 0.22, CI (0.04-1.14)]. The occurrence of hyperglycaemia was not associated with adverse outcome. CONCLUSION: During the first 72 hours of life, blood glucose profile in infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy varies widely despite a management protocol. Early hypoglycaemia (0-6 hours of life) was associated with severe HIE, and thereby; adverse outcome.
    • Early blood glucose profile and neurodevelopmental outcome at two years in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

      Nadeem, Montasser; Murray, Deirdre M; Boylan, Geraldine B; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, Cornelius A; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2011-02)
      To examine the blood glucose profile and the relationship between blood glucose levels and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.
    • Early continuous video electroencephalography in neonatal stroke.

      Walsh, Brian H; Low, Evonne; Bogue, Conor O; Murray, Deirdre M; Boylan, Geraldine B; Neonatal Brain Research Group, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, , Ireland. Bh.walsh@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      Perinatal stroke is the second most common cause of neonatal seizures, and can result in long-term neurological impairment. Diagnosis is often delayed until after seizure onset, owing to the subtle nature of associated signs. We report the early electroencephalographic (EEG) findings in a female infant with a perinatal infarction, born at 41 weeks 2 days and weighing 3.42 kg. Before the onset of seizures, the EEG from 3 hours after delivery demonstrated occasional focal sharp waves over the affected region. After electroclinical seizures, focal sharp waves became more frequent, complex, and of higher amplitude, particularly in 'quiet sleep'. In 'active sleep', sharp waves often disappeared. Diffusion-weighted imaging confirmed the infarct, demonstrating left frontal and parietal diffusion restriction. At 9 months, the infant has had no further seizures, and neurological examination is normal. To our knowledge, this report is the first to describe the EEG findings in perinatal stroke before seizures, and highlights the evolution of characteristic background EEG features.
    • The effects of maternal body mass index on pregnancy outcome.

      Khashan, A S; Kenny, L C; The Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cork, University Maternity Hospital, University College Cork, Wilton, Cork, Ireland., a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      The increasing prevalence of obesity is presenting a critical challenge to healthcare services. We examined the effect of Body Mass Index in early pregnancy on adverse pregnancy outcome. We performed a population register-based cohort study using data from the North Western Perinatal survey (N = 99,403 babies born during 2004-2006), based at The University of Manchester, UK. The main outcome measures were Caesarean section delivery, preterm birth, neonatal death, stillbirth, Macrosomia, small for gestational age and large for gestational age. The risk of preterm birth was reduced by almost 10% in overweight (RR = 0.89, [95% CI: 0.83, 0.95]) and obese women (RR = 0.90, [95% CI: 0.84, 0.97]) and was increased in underweight women (RR = 1.33, [95% CI: 1.16, 1.53]). Overweight (RR = 1.17, [95% CI: 1.09, 1.25]), obese (RR = 1.35, [95% CI: 1.25, 1.45]) and morbidly obese (RR = 1.24, [95% CI: 1.02, 1.52]) women had an elevated risk of post-term birth compared to normal women. The risk of fetal macrosomia and operative delivery increased with BMI such that morbidly obese women were at greatest risk of both (RR of macrosomia = 4.78 [95% CI: 3.86, 5.92] and RR of Caesarean section = 1.66 [95% CI: 1.61, 1.71] and a RR of emergency Caesarean section = 1.59 [95% CI: 1.45, 1.75]). Excessive leanness and obesity are associated with different adverse pregnancy outcomes with major maternal and fetal complications. Overweight and obese women have a higher risk of macrosomia and Caesarean delivery and lower risk of preterm delivery. The mechanism underlying this association is unclear and is worthy of further investigation.
    • Evaluation and treatment of hypotension in the preterm infant.

      Dempsey, E M; Barrington, K J; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      A large proportion of very preterm infants receive treatment for hypotension. The definition of hypotension is unclear, and, currently, there is no evidence that treating it improves outcomes or, indeed, which treatment to choose among the available alternatives. Assessment of circulatory adequacy of the preterm infant requires a careful clinical assessment and may also require ancillary investigations. The most commonly used interventions, fluid boluses and dopamine, are problematic: fluid boluses are statistically associated with worse clinical outcomes and may not even increase blood pressure, whereas dopamine increases blood pressure mostly by causing vasoconstriction and may decrease perfusion. For neither intervention is there any reliable data showing clinical benefit. Prospective trials of intervention for hypotension and circulatory compromise are urgently required.
    • Fetal heart rate patterns in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy: relationship with early cerebral activity and neurodevelopmental outcome.

      Murray, Deirdre M; O'Riordan, Mairead N; Horgan, Richard; Boylan, Geraldine; Higgins, John R; Ryan, Cornelius A; Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork, Cork, University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. d.murray@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      Despite widespread use of fetal heart rate monitoring, the timing of injury in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) remains unclear. Our aim was to examine fetal heart rate patterns during labor in infants with clinical and electroencephalographic (EEG) evidence of HIE and to relate these findings to neurodevelopmental outcome. Timing of onset of pathological cardiotocographs (CTGs) was determined in each case by two blinded reviewers and related to EEG grade at birth and neurological outcome at 24 months. CTGs were available in 35 infants with HIE (17 mild, 12 moderate, 6 severe on EEG). Admission CTGs were normal in 24/35 (69%), suspicious in 8/35 (23%), and pathological in 3/35 (8%). All CTGs developed nonreassuring features prior to delivery. Three patterns of fetal heart rate abnormalities were seen: group 1, abnormal CTGs on admission in 11/35 (31%); group 2, normal CTGs on admission with gradual deterioration to pathological in 20/35 cases (57%); and group 3, normal CTGs on admission with acute sentinel events in 4/35 (11.5%). The median (interquartile range) duration between the development of pathological CTGs and delivery was 145 (81, 221) minutes in group 2 and 22 (12, 28) minutes in group 3. There was no correlation between duration of pathological CTG trace and grade of encephalopathy (R = 0.09, P = 0.63) or neurological outcome (P = 0.75). However, the grade of encephalopathy was significantly worse in group 3 (P = 0.001), with a trend to worse outcomes. The majority of infants with HIE have normal CTG traces on admission but develop pathological CTG patterns within hours of delivery. More severe encephalopathy was associated with normal admission CTG and acute sentinel events shortly before delivery.
    • The impact of maternal celiac disease on birthweight and preterm birth: a Danish population-based cohort study.

      Khashan, A S; Henriksen, T B; Mortensen, P B; McNamee, R; McCarthy, F P; Pedersen, M G; Kenny, L C; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College , Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Adverse pregnancy outcomes have been associated with maternal celiac disease (CD). In this study, we investigate the effect of treated and untreated maternal CD on infant birthweight and preterm birth. METHODS: A population-based cohort study consisted of all singleton live births in Denmark between 1 January 1979 and 31 December 2004 was used. A total of 1,504,342 babies were born to 836,241 mothers during the study period. Of those, 1105 babies were born to women with diagnosed CD and 346 were born to women with undiagnosed CD. Women with diagnosed CD were considered as treated with a gluten free diet while women with undiagnosed CD were considered as untreated. The outcome measures were: birthweight, small for gestational age (SGA: birthweight <10th centile), very small for gestational age (VSGA: birthweight <5th centile) and preterm birth. We compared these measures in treated and untreated women with those of a reference group (no history of CD). RESULTS: Women with untreated CD delivered smaller babies [difference = -98 g (95% CI: -130, -67)], with a higher risk of SGA infants [OR = 1.31 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.63)], VSGA infants [OR = 1.54 (95% CI: 1.17, 2.03)] and preterm birth [OR = 1.33 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.72)] compared with women without CD. Women with treated CD had no increased risk of reduced mean birthweight, risk of delivering SGA and VSGA infants or preterm birth compared with women without CD. CONCLUSION: Untreated maternal CD increases the risk of reduced birthweight, the risk of delivering SGA and VSGA infants and preterm birth. Diagnosis and presumed treatment of maternal CD with a gluten-free diet appeared to result in a birthweight and preterm birth rate similar to those in women without CD.
    • Introducing random safety audits (RSA) in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

      Szymanska, M; Ryan, C A; Murphy, B P; Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork. (2012-01-31)
      Random safety audits (RSA) have been shown to be effective in improving standards of clinical practice. 19 data collection audits were performed relating to hygiene, safe prescribing, oxygen pulse oximetry monitoring and documentation in keeping with the requirements of the new Medical Practitioners Act (MPA) 2007. Hygiene audits (range from 20/25 to 21/21 80%-100%) and safe prescribing audits (range from 23/25 to 25/25 86%-100%) achieved n=25 100% compliance with unit guidelines over a 3 month period. Compliance with oxygen pulse oximetry monitoring guideline limits improved from 4/27 (15%) to 9/16 (56%). Compliance with requirement and use of Physician IMC registration number in documentation was only 10/18 (56%). RSA's led to improvements in hygiene and prescribing. Compliance with oxygen monitoring guideline limits highlighted the need for greater education. Awareness of legal requirements relating to documentation improved but this has not translated into a change in practice. RSA's can facilitate real time quality improvement in daily clinical practice.
    • Life and death decisions for incompetent patients: determining best interests--the Irish perspective.

      Armstrong, K; Ryan, C A; Hawkes, C P; Janvier, A; Dempsey, E M; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2011-04)
      To determine whether healthcare providers apply the best interest principle equally to different resuscitation decisions.
    • Life and death decisions for incompetent patients: determining best interests--the Irish perspective.

      Armstrong, K; Ryan, C A; Hawkes, C P; Janvier, A; Dempsey, E M; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      AIMS: To determine whether healthcare providers apply the best interest principle equally to different resuscitation decisions. METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to consultants, trainees in neonatology, paediatrics, obstetrics and 4th medical students. It examined resuscitation scenarios of critically ill patients all needing immediate resuscitation. Outcomes were described including survival and potential long-term sequelae. Respondents were asked whether they would intubate, whether resuscitation was in the patients best interest, would they accept surrogate refusal to initiate resuscitation and in what order they would resuscitate. RESULTS: The response rate was 74%. The majority would wish resuscitation for all except the 80-year-old. It was in the best interest of the 2-month-old and the 7-year-old to be resuscitated compared to the remaining scenarios (p value <0.05 for each comparison). Approximately one quarter who believed it was in a patient best interests to be resuscitated would nonetheless accept the family refusing resuscitation. Medical students were statistically more likely to advocate resuscitation in each category. CONCLUSION: These results suggest resuscitation is not solely related to survival or long-term outcome and the best interest principle is applied differently, more so at the beginning of life.
    • Local anaesthetic eye drops for prevention of pain in preterm infants undergoing screening for retinopathy of prematurity.

      Dempsey, Eugene; McCreery, Kathryn; Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Screening examinations for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are performed routinely in the neonatal intensive care unit and are a recognised cause of pain in the newborn. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of instillation of topical anaesthetic eye drops compared with placebo or no treatment on pain in infants undergoing ROP screening. SEARCH STRATEGY: We used the standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. This included a search of the Cochrane Neonatal Group register and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library, Issue 10, 2010). We identified relevant studies by searching the following: (1) computerised bibliographic databases: MEDLINE (1966 to October 2010), EMBASE (1988 to October 2010) and Web of Science (1975 to March 2010; (2) the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials. We searched electronically abstracts from PAS from 2000 to 2010 and handsearched abstracts from ESPR from 2000 to 2009. SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised, or quasi-randomised controlled trials, or randomised cross-over trials. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. MAIN RESULTS: We identified two studies for inclusion. Both studies were randomised cross-over trials performed in single centres. Both studies used the Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP) score as a measure of pain response. Different methods of evaluating PIPP scores are presented including the absolute PIPP score, a PIPP score > 10 or > 12 and an increase in PIPP >/= 4 from the baseline value. There is a nonsignificant reduction in pain scores at one minute and a nonsignificant increase at five minutes post insertion of the speculum. PIPP score > 12 at one minute resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the number of patients who experienced pain (typical risk ratio (RR) 0.56, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.89; typical risk difference (RD) -0.23, 95% CI -0.39 to -0.86; number needed to treat to benefit (NNTB) 4). When pain was defined as an increase in PIPP > 4 there was a statistically significant reduction in the absolute number of patients who experienced pain at one minute (typical RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.94; typical RD -0.19, 95% CI -0.34 to -0.04; NNTB 5.3). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The administration of topical proparacaine 30 seconds prior to the ophthalmological evaluation was associated with a reduction in pain scores especially at the time of speculum insertion. However, despite treatment, screening remains a painful procedure and the role of nonpharmacological and pharmacological intervention including different local anaesthetic agents should be ascertained in future randomised trials.
    • Metabolic profiling uncovers a phenotypic signature of small for gestational age in early pregnancy.

      Horgan, Richard P; Broadhurst, David I; Walsh, Sarah K; Dunn, Warwick B; Brown, Marie; Roberts, Claire T; North, Robyn A; McCowan, Lesley M; Kell, Douglas B; Baker, Philip N; et al. (2012-01-31)
      Being born small for gestational age (SGA) confers increased risks of perinatal morbidity and mortality and increases the risk of cardiovascular complications and diabetes in later life. Accumulating evidence suggests that the etiology of SGA is usually associated with poor placental vascular development in early pregnancy. We examined metabolomic profiles using ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) in three independent studies: (a) venous cord plasma from normal and SGA babies, (b) plasma from a rat model of placental insufficiency and controls, and (c) early pregnancy peripheral plasma samples from women who subsequently delivered a SGA baby and controls. Multivariate analysis by cross-validated Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) of all 3 studies showed a comprehensive and similar disruption of plasma metabolism. A multivariate predictive model combining 19 metabolites produced by a Genetic Algorithm-based search program gave an Odds Ratio for developing SGA of 44, with an area under the Receiver Operator Characteristic curve of 0.9. Sphingolipids, phospholipids, carnitines, and fatty acids were among this panel of metabolites. The finding of a consistent discriminatory metabolite signature in early pregnancy plasma preceding the onset of SGA offers insight into disease pathogenesis and offers the promise of a robust presymptomatic screening test.
    • The Neopuff's PEEP valve is flow sensitive.

      Hawkes, Colin Patrick; Dempsey, Eugene Michael; Ryan, C Anthony; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2011-03)
      The current recommendation in setting up the Neopuff is to use a gas flow of 5-15 L/min. We investigated if the sensitivity of the positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) valve varies at different flow rates within this range.
    • The Neopuff's PEEP valve is flow sensitive.

      Hawkes, Colin Patrick; Dempsey, Eugene Michael; Ryan, C Anthony; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      AIM: The current recommendation in setting up the Neopuff is to use a gas flow of 5-15 L/min. We investigated if the sensitivity of the positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) valve varies at different flow rates within this range. METHODS: Five Neopuffs were set up to provide a PEEP of 5 cm H(2) O. The number of clockwise revolutions to complete occlusion of the PEEP valve and the mean and range of pressures at each quarter clockwise revolution were recorded at gas flow rates between 5 and 15 L/min. Results: At 5, 10 and 15 L/min, 0.5, 1.7 and 3.4 full clockwise rotations were required to completely occlude the PEEP valve, and pressures rose from 5 to 11.4, 18.4 and 21.5 cm H(2) O, respectively. At a flow rate of 5 L/min, half a rotation of the PEEP dial resulted in a rise in PEEP from 5 to 11.4cm H(2) O. At 10 L/min, half a rotation resulted in a rise from 5 to 7.7cm H(2) O, and at 15 L/min PEEP rose from 5 to 6.8cm H(2) O. CONCLUSION: Users of the Neopuff should be aware that the PEEP valve is more sensitive at lower flow rates and that half a rotation of the dial at 5 L/min gas flow can more than double the PEEP.