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Breakthrough research allows rapid diagnosis of genetic disorders

A team of Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics investigators has pioneered the use of groundbreaking, next-generation genome sequencing for rapidly diagnosing critically ill infants. As reported in the October issue of Science Translational Medicine, STAT-Seq® is a whole genome sequencing test that delivers results in about 50 hours. Currently, testing even a single gene takes six weeks or more.

Children’s Mercy is the first hospital with access to the HiSeq2500 prototype and will be the first hospital to acquire the sequencer in late 2012.

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Learn more about neonatal care offered at Children’s Mercy.
NICHD Neonatal Research Network interventional studies target high-risk populations

As one of the 18 NIH-funded Neonatal Research Network centers in the nation, Children’s Mercy is currently involved with four important interventional studies that could have lasting implications for high-risk populations.

Two studies are looking at the potential benefits of therapeutic cooling for babies who have suffered birth asphyxia. Another study is measuring the benefits of hydrocortisone on babies born before 30 weeks. And lastly, Children’s Mercy is testing one of two different kinds of surgery to treat premature babies with intestinal problems.

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Learn more about neonatal care offered at Children’s Mercy.
Located in Kansas City, Mo., Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics is one of the country's premier free-standing, independent pediatric medical centers. With a faculty of more than 400 pediatric subspecialists, surgeons and researchers, we are consistently ranked among the leading children's hospitals in the nation. Likewise, we were the first hospital in Missouri or Kansas to receive Magnet recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for excellence in nursing services.

For nearly 40 years, Children's Mercy has been a leader in neonatal research, with focused expertise in chronic lung disease. We participate in the Vermont Oxford Network and are members of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Operating the region's only Level IV nursery, we've received the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support numerous times. We've also been at the forefront of pediatric psychosocial care, and we're nationally recognized for our innovation in creating a family-centered environment that is focused on the unique needs of hospitalized children and their families.
Fetal Health Center grows into new space

As one of the only free-standing children's hospitals equipped to deliver babies, Children's Mercy Hospitals has had 122 births and provided 300 integrated consultations since opening the Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center in March 2011. Those numbers are expected to climb even faster now that the center has doubled in size with a new 12,000-square-foot unit that includes two operating rooms, a resuscitation room and four labor-and-delivery rooms.

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  • Premature birth rate in U.S. hits lowest mark in a decade
    The percentage of babies born prematurely dropped for a fifth consecutive year in 2011 to 11.7%, the lowest rate in 10 years, according to the March of Dimes' annual report card. Although the premature birth rates in 45 states improved between 2009 and 2011, only four states received an "A" grade. Overall, the country still got a "C" grade from March of Dimes. HealthDay News (11/13)
  • CDC: Rate of severe birth complications in U.S. is increasing
    The number of women who experienced severe complications during or after childbirth nearly doubled between 1998 and 2009, CDC researchers found. However, childbirth-related complications and deaths remained uncommon in the U.S., with an estimated 590,000 cases reported in over 11 years. The findings appear in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Reuters (10/23)
  • Separate ICUs for mother-infant pairs tied to higher mortality risk
    Mothers and their newborns who were placed in separate intensive care units had higher maternal and neonatal mortality than those who weren't separated, a Canadian study showed. Researchers also noted that concurrent admission of mother-infant pairs to different ICUs was associated with greater chances of mother-infant separation because of interfacility transfer. The findings appear in CMAJ. News (10/24)
  • Data show late, missed diagnoses of congenital heart disease
    Hospitals with level 1 or 2 nurseries had more missed and late diagnoses of critical congenital heart disease in infants, compared with those that had higher level units, according to a CDC study presented at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting. HHS in 2011 called for adding CCHD to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel, and so far 10 states have passed laws to do so, while nine others have introduced legislation. Medscape (free registration) (11/6)
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