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Steroids Seem Safe for Babies at Risk of Early Birth
Date:9/19/2007

ids caused the additional cases of cerebral palsy] can be answered yet. But, there's a trend that's worrisome."

Stiles, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the same issue of the journal, said it's possible the different findings on cerebral palsy might be related to the differences in the steroid dose, but that doctors have no way of knowing for sure yet if that's the case.

"I believe that multi-dose steroids are not a terrible thing to do. These studies provide some reassurance that multi-dose steroids can be beneficial to preterm babies, but they should be viewed as a tool to be used selectively, and with careful information given to the families so that they understand the potential benefits and risks," Stiles said.

More information

To learn more about the types of medications used in preterm labor, visit the March of Dimes.



SOURCES: Alan Stiles, M.D., professor and chairman of pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Ronald J. Wapner, director of maternal-fetal medicine, Columbia University, New York City; Sept. 20, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine


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