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Prem babies infection setback

16th January 2009

A study by UK researchers has revealed that a treatment thought to improve a premature baby's chance of fighting infection does not actually provide any benefit.

Premature Baby

The findings, which have been published in The Lancet, are regarded as unexpected and a setback.

Premature babies are given a protein to stimulate growth of white blood cells and boost immune systems but the research in 280 babies born at 31 weeks or under found it did not prevent blood poisoning, which is a major cause of newborn deaths.

It is the low white blood cell count, or neutropenia, that further increases the risk in infection of infants born with a low birth rate.

A protein known as granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has been used to try to offset the risk of infection in premature babies, but the trial showed there was no significant difference in deaths from blood poisoning in those who had GM-CSF or those who had standard management.

GM-CSF helps in cancer patients whose immune systems have been damaged by chemotherapy.

Dr Robert Carr from Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital NHS Trust led the study.

He said the findings showed that results that were effective in adults could not be assumed to work in premature babies.

Professor David Field, an expert in neonatal medicine at the University of Leicester, said it highlighted the importance of doing trials.

"In theory you would have thought this was an important intervention," he said. "But it shows that in these babies there is some other factor which is important."

 

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Anonymous

Saturday 7th November 2009 @ 10:09

my baby was born at 27 weeks old...she got her first infection at 2 weeks old ...this lasted 4 days they treated her and gave her a blood transfusion. i did not have a reason why she was born early i have a clear health no illnesses. She got 9/10 for her new born test but no immune system.

She cried and was very agitated one thursday night in where i asked the neonatal nurse why this was oh she tired i was told so i placeed her in the incubator...less than 24 hours later i received a phone call to say that she was very ill.

Entercoccus bacterial infection...ripped her of her white blood cells...the infection went straight to her kidnesy and shut them down..she couldnt pee or poo...she went up and down like a yo yo..more blood transfusion..more hitting of the kidneys..odema set in....lines placed in her head...to try and fight all infections...she was given a spinal test for menigitus..clear......calcium was hit..more treatment....in the end the skin of her feet was black and blue and peeling...her odeoma swelling very bad.....kidneys went again and she had a hugh scale 4 brain hemmorrage we were told to let her go...we had her for 7 weeks.....i dont know how common this is in neonatal babies but doctors stated he seen 5 cases.....no explaination how or why it started....a neonatal infection....very sad.


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