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Improving care and outcomes for babies at risk of brain injury

60 months
Approved budget:
Dr Malcolm Battin
Professor Alistair Gunn
Dr Lynn Sadler
Professor Ngaire Stott
Health issue:
Obstetric complications/perinatal care
Proposal type:
Clinical Practitioner Research Fellowship
Lay summary
Neonatal encephalopathy (NE) is the most common cause of preventable brain injury in the newborn infant. It presents with neurological problems in the first days of life and is associated with compromised blood and/or oxygen supply to the baby (asphyxia) sometimes due to serious perinatal events such as umbilical cord prolapse. The only treatment with proven benefit is induced mild hypothermia. This grant will support six projects with the overarching aim of improving the care and outcome for babies with NE in New Zealand. Included in the work will be an analysis of independent data on treatment with hypothermia; collection of childhood outcome information for babies recorded as having NE; assessment of potential clinical prediction tools; survey of care for babies with mild NE; and two clinical trials including a network based point of care trial and a randomised controlled trial of adjunct therapy in addition to mild hypothermia.