Navigation Links
Additional Steroid Dose May Help Preemies

Fewer babies have complications, without ill effects, study finds

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Giving a second dose of steroids to babies still in the womb can reduce their post-birth respiratory problems and does not seem to affect their growth the way multiple courses can, new research shows.

In babies born before 34 weeks, about 43 percent of those given a second dose of steroids in utero had complications, compared with about 63 percent of the babies given a placebo.

"We saw a 31 percent reduction in overall composite neonatal morbidity. That's highly significant," said study author Dr. James Kurtzman, an associate clinical professor in the division of maternal-fetal medicine in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Irvine.

The real advantage, he added, came from the reduction in respiratory problems. Fewer babies had respiratory distress syndrome, and fewer babies needed mechanical ventilation.

Results of the study were to be presented Jan. 29 at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The study will also be published in the March edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Kurtzman and his colleague, Dr. Thomas Garite, began the study because they were concerned that some premature babies were missing out on the potential benefits from at least one dose of pre-birth steroids.

When doctors first started giving steroids to mothers who appeared to be going into pre-term labor, they discovered that, for the babies' health, it was best if the steroid dose was given no more than seven days before delivery.

But it's not always easy to tell exactly when a woman will deliver. So, if a woman passed the seven-day mark and still had not delivered, doctors would repeat the steroid dose. However, doctors soon learned that multiple courses of steroids led to growth restriction and smaller head circumferences in the babies.

"Then the pendulum swung the other way, and doctors were holding out on giving the first dose" until they were sure the woman was going to deliver, Kurtzman explained. That resulted in some women never getting treated before delivery.

"So, we developed this study for patients that remained pregnant for more than two weeks after receiving their first course," he said.

The study included 437 women from 18 medical facilities -- both community hospitals and academic medical centers. The women were randomly assigned to receive either a second, so-called "rescue," dose of steroids closer to delivery or a placebo.

The researchers found a significant reduction in respiratory problems for babies who received the second dose of steroids. Plus, they found no evidence of growth restriction or smaller head circumferences.

"We try to do the best we can to predict who's going to deliver early, but it's not always possible," Kurtzman said. "This information allows us to be a little bit less concerned about the timing of the first course, and that has a tremendously positive impact."

Dr. Peter Bernstein, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that premature birth is "one of our top problems" in obstetrics. "It's the second leading cause of neonatal mortality in the U.S.," he said. "This study shows we're continuing to chip away at this problem, and we're doing better."

More information

The March of Dimes has advice for expectant moms on preventing premature birth.

SOURCES: James Kurtzman, M.D., associate clinical professor, division of maternal-fetal medicine, department of obstetrics and gynecology, University of California, Irvine, and maternal-fetal medicine attending and former obstetrics chief, Saddleback Women's Hospital, Laguna Hills, Calif.; Peter Bernstein, M.D., maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Montefiore Medical Center, and associate professor, obstetrics and gynecology, and women's health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Jan. 29, 2009, presentation, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine annual meeting, Washington D.C.

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. USAID Provides Additional Wildfire Assistance to Greece
2. Creative Technology Services Enhances its Global Competitiveness with Additional Regulatory Certifications
3. Additional Top Tier Institutions Implement Mediwares HCLL(TM) Transfusion Management Software
4. Whole Foods Market(R) Donates $25,000, for Midwest Farmers - Hoping to Match an Additional $10,000, via Customer Donations
5. Virginia Techs Raving First Year Results Lead to Additional High-Tech Antimicrobial Defense from SportCoatings(TM)
6. People With Chronic Conditions Experience Additional Benefits of Cost Savings by Wearing a Medical ID
7. Using additional biopsy-scoring data may help determine prostate cancer prognosis
8. Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. Partners with to Provide Additional Quality Information About Doctors to Consumers
9. Dynatronics Adds Three Additional Direct Sales Reps
10. ReBuilder Medical Technologies, Inc. Announces Agreement with Internet Marketer Helio Health; Anticipates 12% Additional Profit
11. Aida Granted Additional Anti-Cancer Patent
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Additional Steroid Dose May Help Preemies
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The Multiple System Atrophy ... and funds for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) research, timed today to coincide with Giving ... things from patients including their ability to work and be productive, to do simple ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Henderson, a town of about 6,300 people, ... a partnership this year with Aeneas Internet and Telephone. , With faster Internet ... entrepreneurs who want to build a business. Whether startups or long established companies, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Integrated Rental Services (“Integrated Rental”), a growing medical equipment ... With support from JII, Integrated Rental is poised for expansion while improving its ... labs and medical facilities across the United States. , General Manager Robert Bean ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and hematology continuing medical education (CME), today announced that the first annual School ... New York. , “The prevention, detection and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers are undergoing ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... Dr. Paul Vitenas, one of the top cosmetic surgeons in ... as the Best Single Physician Practice in the nation. Dr. Vitenas and his practice ... by the industry publication. , Dr. Vitenas said he was very honored to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 01, 2015 ... the "Veterinary Equipment and Disposables Market by ... report to their offering. --> ... "Veterinary Equipment and Disposables Market by product, ... report to their offering. --> Research ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR ), ... today announced that it has reached its enrollment target ... 3 clinical trial of aldoxorubicin in patients with previously ... be completed in Q1 2016. The Phase 3 trial is ... Protocol Assessment from the FDA at 79 sites in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  InCarda Therapeutics, Inc. (InCarda), ... commercialization of therapies for cardiovascular conditions via the inhalation ... business in Australia . InCarda is ... Australia in the first half ... and medical centers in Adelaide ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: