Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Neonatal intensive care units critical to infant survival

Very low birthweight and very preterm infants are more likely to die if they are not born at hospitals with neonatal intensive care units specially equipped to care for seriously ill newborns, in contrast to similar babies born at those specialized facilities.

"We encourage women who have high risk pregnancies to talk with their health care provider about the care their baby may need after birth and about the appropriate hospital where they should deliver so their newborn can receive the proper NICU level of care," said Diane Ashton, MD, MPH, March of Dimes deputy medical director.

A model for a regionalized system of neonatal intensive care units, (NICUs), to enable sick babies in all parts of the United States to get the specialized care they need, while managing costs, was outlined by a 1976 report called "Toward Improving the Outcomes Pregnancy" developed by the Committee on Perinatal Health and the March of Dimes. This report, which recommended Level I hospitals provide basic care, Level II hospitals care for moderately ill infants, and Level III NICU facilities take the most seriously sick babies, has been credited with improving the national infant mortality rate.

"The initial success of this system of regionalized perinatal care saved the lives of thousands of infants over the years," said Dr. Ashton, noting that it is not always possible for women to too choose where they deliver. Over time, the regional system has weakened and more seriously ill babies are being born outside Level III NICUs.

The March of Dimes and its partners this winter will publish "Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy III, which will include new recommendations on quality improvement efforts for women and health care providers to help more babies be born healthy.

Very-low birth weight babies, those who weigh about 3.3 pounds at birth, and very preterm infants, those born at less than 32 weeks gestation, had a more than 50 percent increase in the risk of dying before they were a month old or discharged, if they were not born at a Level III hospital, according to the research by investigators led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"We should continue our efforts to prevent preterm birth altogether. Yet when a pregnant woman is at risk for delivering a very low birth weight or very premature baby, we should provide the best and most risk-appropriate care possible," said CAPT Wanda D. Barfield, MD, MPH, director, of the CDC's Division of Reproductive Health, and a co-author of the study. "We were happy to do the research that could benefit both parents and health care providers in making the best possible choices for care."

In 2006, the infant mortality rate declined to 6.7 out of every 1,000 live births from 6.9 in 2005, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Despite the decline, more than 28,500 babies died in 2006 before they were a year old, and babies who died from preterm birth-related causes accounted for more than 36 percent of infant deaths.

The March of Dimes is supporting a Congressional Briefing hosted by National Healthy Start Association and sponsored by Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) as part of activities surrounding September's designation as Infant Mortality Awareness Month.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit or For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit PeriStats at

Elizabeth Lynch | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>