An Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can transmit the Zika, chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever viruses. (Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images)
US hospitals are bolstering care for pregnant women and infants infected with the Zika virus, amid the rising number of infections. Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C., announced its Congenital Zika Virus Program, which will treat infants, take referrals from around the nation and provide information for women with Zika, while Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, both in Houston, have begun a specialized program.
Very preterm infants given prophylactic early high-dose recombinant human erythropoietin had no significant variations in neurodevelopmental outcomes at age 2 years, compared with those who received placebo, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings, based on data involving 448 infants born between 26 weeks and 31 weeks 6 days of gestation, followed until age 2, also showed no differences in secondary outcomes between those who received high-dose rhEPO and those who received placebo.
Highland Park Hospital in suburban Chicago is renovating its maternity ward to use a Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum or LDRP birth model that allows mothers, newborns and fathers to stay together in one suite. Maternity unit clinical nurse manager Karen Plewe said the suites will be convenient, promote continuity of care on the unit and ensure there is no confusion associated with the hospital stay.
Swiss researchers looked at nearly 450,000 infants born in Switzerland from 2007 to 2012 and found that preterm and early-term births dropped by 3.5% and 5%, respectively, when smoking bans were introduced. However, the findings in Tobacco Control also showed that premature births declined by 7% to 12% in regions with the most comprehensive smoking bans.
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Swiss researchers found that 6% of women who took pain and epilepsy drug Lyrica, or pregabalin, during the first trimester of pregnancy had babies with major birth defects, such as heart defects and problems with the central nervous system or other organs, compared with 2% among those who didn't take the drug. The findings in Neurology, based on data involving 820 pregnant women, also showed that those who took the drug had a sixfold increased likelihood of having infants with major abnormalities in the central nervous system, compared with those who didn't.
Although 68% of surveyed maternal-fetal medical training programs indicated they conduct universal cervical length screening to assess the risk of premature birth, fewer than half used transvaginal ultrasound -- the method recommended by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The findings were reported at a meeting of ACOG.
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