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Nov November 03 Tue 2015

Fetal and maternal health leader named co-director of pregnancy and newborn services at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Children's Health

Dr. Susan Hintz is appointed as the co-director of the Johnson Center for Pregnancy and Newborn Services. She joins co-director Dr. Yasser El-Sayed  and director Dr. David Stevenson. Launched in 1997, the Johnson Center brings together specialists in obstetrics, neonatology, perinatal genetics, developmental behavioral-pediatrics, reproductive fertility services, and perinatal biology. Yahoo Finance reports, and Dr. Hintz is quoted. Read more>>

Oct October 27 Tue 2015

Helping newborns through song

Combining global knowledge with local wisdom empowers women and impacts newborn health. Dr. Gary Darmstadt’s work in small villages throughout India is chronicled in this article by Stanford Medicine's Scope blog, which pairs with a feature story in Stanford Medicine magazine’s Fall 2015 issue. In order to emphasize the importance of evidence-based newborn care practices like sanitation and breastfeeding, Darmstadt and his colleagues recruited a local songwriter, as songs play a large role in Indian culture for the purposes of transferring information. Read more>>

Oct October 26 Mon 2015

Boston doctor's jaundice bed debuts in Africa

Dr. Vinod Bhutani comments in a Boston Globe story on a new device for treating neonatal jaundice. This device is positioned to be a portable, budget-friendly addition to other phototherapy devices used in the developing world. While Dr. Bhutani says the device seems like a promising alternative, he cautions that the company responsible for creating the device should run clinical research in the U.S. prior to distribution. Read more>>

Note: This story appears under the subhead (above) and after the primary story entitled, “Longwood hospitals plan raises cost concerns.”

Oct October 19 Mon 2015

Filtered sunlight is good cure for infant jaundice, study says

A clinical trial in Lagos, Nigeria finds filtered sunlight is as safe and effective as conventional therapy for treating newborn jaundice. It’s a low-tech, inexpensive solution for a problem that impacts over 150,000 babies in developing countries each year. The research team built and tested outdoor canopies that allow jaundice-treating blue wavelengths while blocking harmful wavelengths like UV and infrared. The New York Times reports the study's results; Dr. David Stevenson is senior author on the paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Read more>>

Additional coverage:

Stanford Medicine News Center

Oct October 12 Mon 2015

Infant heart defect may be linked to pre-diabetic sugar levels in pregnancy

Women with diabetes face an increased risk of having a child born with a heart defect; however, new research indicates the problem may be more widespread among those with milder metabolic abnormalities. A study showed that women who have elevated blood glucose levels, despite not meeting the diagnostic criteria for diabetes, may also be at risk for delivering a baby with a congenital heart defect, namely tetralogy of Fallot. Study senior author Dr. Gary Shaw is quoted in this story for HealthDay News, which was picked up www.philly.com. The research was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Read more>>

Additional coverage:

www.philly.com

Oct October 11 Sun 2015

Belly button gel based on a mouthwash ingredient could save thousands of newborns

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is applying to the European Medicine Agency for approval of a chlorhexidine gel formulated specifically for newborn care. Chlorhexidine, an antibacterial used in mouthwash, has been shown to prevent infection when applied to umbilical cord stumps. If approved, GSK packets of chlorhexidine gel sold at not-for-profit prices may be a boon to global neonatal health in developing countries, where stumps often are the entry point for infection. Large, controlled trials in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan showed that application of chlorhexidine to cord stumps reduced neonatal mortality by 23 percent. Dr. Gary Darmstadt, who was part of the initial chlorhexidine cord stump study in Nepal, was quoted for this story in Science Magazine. Read more>>

Oct October 08 Thu 2015

Warm welcomes: Infusing traditional culture with western medicine to reduce newborn mortality

Stanford Medicine magazine features a story on community-based efforts to improve neonatal mortality in a large, impoverished area in northern India. In the early 2000s, Dr. Gary Darmstadt and his colleague Vishwajeet Kumar traveled to India to understand the villagers and their customs. Later, they tested interventions, developed with members of the community, that focused on adapting behaviors and childbirth practices. The success of such interventions was undeniable – they reduced newborn mortality by 54 percent, evidence of the effectiveness of global health programs that are sensitive to local needs and situations. Read more>>

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