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Wednesday 30, Sep 2009

  Steroids use in preemies linked to cerebral palsy

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Steroids use in preemies linked to cerebral palsy  According to a multi study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), steroids used to improve the lung development of premature babies could actually increase their risk for cerebral palsy.

Steroids, specifically, a corticosteroid called betamethasone is a drug that has shown to decrease neonatal mortality. It is given to women at risk of giving birth prematurely in order to hasten the development of the baby’s lungs.

Obstetrician – gynecologists often practice repeated course of steroids administration every week of up to 10 to 11 times. However, NIH representatives were so concerned with the safety that they wanted to limit the repeated courses for patients enrolled in clinical trials.

A study was performed by the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Network involving infants from the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and 12 other sites around the country. Multiple courses of steroids were given to mothers and by the time the children reached the age of two or three years old, it was found that 6 out of 248 children in the treatment group were diagnosed with cerebral palsy while only 1 out of 238 children in the placebo group was diagnosed with the disease.

Dr. Wapner, head of the study advised that doctors multiple doses of steroids should not be administered since it could potentially do more harm than good.

Friday 29, May 2009

  ‘Rescue Course’ of antenatal steroids improves results in Preemies

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'Rescue Course' of antenatal steroids improves results in PreemiesIn a study recently presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s (SMFM) annual meeting, researched unveil findings that premature babies who are born before 34 weeks have a 31 percent reduction in acute ailments once they have been administered with a “rescue course” of Antenatal Corticosteroids (ACS) steroids. It is worthwhile to note that the rescue course does not involve any side-effects.

The study also revealed that rescue course of steroids can be administered to pregnant women expected to deliver prematurely. This means that complications risking life of babies are reduced by as much as a third with no adverse side-effects at all.

This study, which was supported by the Pediatrix Medical Group, is expected to give enough relief to the expecting women community. It is expected that these findings will help in minimizing the levels of neonatal mortality in the United States.