Synthetic hormone helps curb brain damage in premature infants | Children's hospital uses traffic-light monitoring system | Singing during "kangaroo care" improves preemies' heart rate
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September 8, 2014
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News for Obstetric, Neonatal & Women's Health Care Professionals
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Synthetic hormone helps curb brain damage in premature infants
The administration of synthetic erythropoietin, a hormone that encourages production of red blood cells, within two days of preterm delivery was associated with reduced brain damage in infants, Swiss researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, researchers and other experts said more work is needed on the use of EPO. HealthDay News (8/26)
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Patient Safety & Clinical Update
Children's hospital uses traffic-light monitoring system
Hurley Children's Hospital in Flint, Mich., uses a traffic-light system to help nurses monitor patients based on the risk that their condition will deteriorate. Pediatrics and NICU nurse Stephanie Allen said it is a tool to improve patient safety and can bring "more caregivers to the bedside so they can pool their experiences." (Michigan) (free registration) (9/2)
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Singing during "kangaroo care" improves preemies' heart rate
Infants who were held in a kangaroo care position and sang to by their mothers had significantly a improved heart rate compared with those who were just held, according to a study in the journal Acta Paediatrica. Researchers noted that singing during kangaroo care also lowered anxiety levels among mothers. Reuters (8/14)
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Low birth weight, premature birth may have lasting effects
Research published in the journal Pediatrics involving more than 1,200 infants born in Iceland showed that smaller birth size was associated with reduced brain volume and function late in life, although brain performance was also connected to education early in life. A second study, also reported in Pediatrics, found that babies born prematurely were more likely have cardiovascular risk factors at age 16 than those born full-term. HealthDay News (9/2)
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Byproduct of human milk fat can promote growth in preemies
The addition of cream supplement, a byproduct of pasteurized donor human milk, was associated with increased weight and height in premature infants, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Science World Report (8/18)
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Medical group endorses flu shots for pregnant women
Administration of inactivated influenza vaccine during the flu season is safe for all pregnant women as well as women who just gave birth or are breast-feeding, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said. The group's guidelines, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, discourage the use of live attenuated flu vaccine for pregnant women. HealthDay News (8/19)
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Thyroid disorders tied to hypertension risk in pregnant women
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that women with biochemically diagnosed hyperthyroidism were more than three times more likely to develop preeclampsia. Having high-normal free T4 during early pregnancy was also associated with increased odds of preeclampsia and any hypertensive disorder, researchers said. MedPage Today (free registration) (8/28)
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Professional Practice
D.C. NICU goes 2 years without a CLABSI
The NICU at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., has celebrated two years without an infant getting a central line-associated bloodstream infection. A special insertion team first determines if an infant needs a central line, then creates a sterile field and follows a checklist to ensure safe insertion. A nurse oversees the procedure, watching for potential contamination. American City Business Journals/Washington, D.C./BizBeat blog (8/28)
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Policy, Ethics & Legal Update
HHS says posting baby photos can violate HIPAA law
Obstetric and gynecological practices that post photos of babies on the wall for everyone to see may violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, according to HHS. Officials say the photos are a type of protected health information under the law. Practices have removed collages or moved them from public spaces. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/9)
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Technology & Trends
NICUs combine technology, special care for infants
The treatment provided by NICU nurses combines "motherly care" with high technology, says an Indiana OB/NICU director. Nitric oxide and Cool Cap therapy are among the newer technologies used to treat fragile infants, in addition to the round-the-clock team of neonatologists, neonatal nurses and nurse practitioners, and other personnel. The Times (Munster-Hammond-Merrillville-Valparaiso, Ind.) (8/23)
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News from NCC
Golden Hours: Care of the Very Low Birth Weight Infant -- Available now!
The highly anticipated NCC publication "Golden Hours: Care of the Very Low Birth Weight Infant" is now available through, and NCC's Executive Director, Robin Bissinger, Ph.D., APRN, NNP-BC, FAAN, and David J. Annibale, M.D., edited the "Golden Hours" publication in an effort to assist health care providers to have real impact on the short- and long-term outcomes of VLBW infants during the Golden Hours of life. This publication is not just a guide to care, but a handbook with tools and resources to assist providers.
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The NCC CCI Specialty Assessment -- nearly 90,000 assessments taken!
Innovative, personalized -- and REQUIRED! This innovative program individualizes maintaining certification based on a Specialty Assessment keyed to core specialty competencies. The assessment creates a personalized Education Plan that each certified nurse or nurse practitioner must follow for their certification maintenance. If you hold one of NCC core certifications, you are required to take the Specialty Assessment -- prior to earning any continuing education for your NCC certification maintenance. Read more.
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Maintenance due this month? CE from NCC is convenient and affordable!
Continuing education from NCC offers convenient and affordable ways to maintain your certification with instant access and prices starting at $19. Your maintenance application is even hot linked to appropriate CE suggestions -- super convenient! Read more.
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Planning to attend the October NPWH Convention?
We will see you there ... Do you have questions about the Continuing Competency Initiative? Are you interested in the latest NCC sponsored consumer education projects? Would you like to know "Why Certified"? Visit the NCC booth within NPWH's suite of exhibits -- we will be easy to find. Read more.
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What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action."
-- Meister Eckhart,
German theologian
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About NCC
The National Certification Corporation is a not for profit organization that provides national credentialing programs and continuing education opportunities to nurses, physicians and other licensed health care professionals within the obstetric, neonatal and women's health care specialties. NCC has awarded more than 115,000 certifications or certificates of added qualification since its inception in 1975.
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