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Northwestern Researchers Trial New Device that May Support Improved Newborn Health
Date:12/21/2011

the monitoring system will become more widely available to mothers giving birth in this country.

"Current monitors measure heart rate alone, relying on the experience and judgment of the clinical team to interpret changes in data," said Peaceman.  "This system captures additional measurements and interprets that data, which may eliminate the guesswork and offer a more accurate assessment of how well the baby is using oxygen."

Northwestern is one of 14 centers in the United States participating in the clinical trial, which researchers hope will enroll 11,000 women from across the country over the next three years.  Subjects who opt to participate in this research study are randomly assigned to one of two groups.  One will receive the standard fetal monitoring offered today, and the other will be monitored using the new system in addition to the existing method.  The way in which fetal heart rate is monitored will be the only change to the labor and delivery experience, which will continue to be managed by the woman's doctor.   

Peaceman is an active researcher who has led several studies that have changed the standard of obstetrical care.  In 2008, results from the BEAM trial found that administering magnesium sulfate to women delivering before 32 weeks of gestation reduced the risk of cerebral palsy by 50 percent.  Peaceman was also involved in studies that found the hormone hydroxyprogesterone to be effective in reducing the risk of delivery at less than 37 weeks gestation among women who had previously had a preterm birth.  

"It is our duty to continually find ways to make childbirth safer," said Peaceman. "Research is an important way to evaluate current protocols and learn from birth statistics so we can improve newborn health."

For more information about the STAN clinical trial or to enroll, call 31
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SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
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