Although IVF can be successful, it can also increase the risk of multiple pregnancies (i.e., twins or triplets), which are often caused by transferring more than one embryo.
Twins and triplets are likely to be born prematurely, and, as a result, many have medical complications. A new study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics finds a major decrease in risk, as well as cost, if single embryo transfers are mandated for IVF.
Dr. Keith Barrington and colleagues from the University of Montreal reviewed information from hospital records from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Quebec, Canada. Their objective was to find out how many infants admitted to the NICU from July 2005 to July 2007 were from multiple births resulting from IVF, and how many of these infants had complications or required medical interventions.
The authors discovered that 82 infants (17%), admitted to this NICU during the two-year period were from multiple births resulting from some form of assisted reproductive technology. Of these, 75 were twins or triplets whose mothers used IVF. As Dr. Barrington notes, "Among these 75 babies, there were 6 deaths, 5 babies who developed a brain bleed, and 4 babies who developed a potentially blinding eye condition."
Using the information gleaned from the medical records, the authors calculated the estimated reduction of complications and costs if doctors administering IVF were to transfer only one embryo at a time. According to Dr. Barrington, "Across Canada, there would be as many as 840 fewer babies admitted to the NICU, 40 deaths avoided, 46 fewer brain injuries, and 42,400 fewer days of NICU hospitalization." Considering that each day an infant stays in the NICU costs roughly $1000, the savings would be considerable if single embryo transfers were mandatory. Because there were roughly 20 times as many IVF procedures performed in the United States than in Canada in 2008, the savings in the US would be even greater.
The authors strongly advocate regulations restricting the number of embryos to be transferred during IVF. However, because they recognize that IVF procedures are both costly and challenging for the mother, they advocate accompanying regulation with reimbursement of any additional costs incurred. As Dr. Barrington notes, "Since July 2010, all of the fertility centers in Quebec have adopted this approach, and preliminary results show that twin gestation rates have dropped from 30% to 3.8%."
The study, reported in "The Epidemic of Multiple Gestations and NICU use: The Cost of Irresponsibility" by Annie Janvier, MD, PhD, Bridget Spelke, BSc, and Keith Barrington, MB, ChB, appears in The Journal of Pediatrics, DOI 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.02.017, published by Elsevier.
Brigid Huey | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy