Our researchers are educating maternity and healthcare professionals for a possible change in birth practices by 2020, as their research moves from the laboratory to the clinic.
The workshops, being delivered throughout Victorian hospitals, aim to educate healthcare workers about the benefits and consequences for newborns of delayed umbilical cord-clamping.
Delayed clamping, after the infant is stable and breathing, has been shown to result in important health benefits, particularly for babies requiring help at birth.
Professor Stuart Hooper and Associate Professor Graeme Polglase, together with Dr Sasha Skinner from Hudson Institute, Monash University and Monash Health have been leading the workshops to provide in-depth understanding of the processes and changes a newborn baby goes through at birth.
“This foundation knowledge will enable healthcare professionals, such as obstetricians, midwives and paediatricians, to understand what is happening at birth when they clamp the cord and why common practices may change, as new evidence from clinical trials become available,” Dr Skinner said.
“We’re not advocating for change, but we’re saying, ‘this is the physiology we need to consider, this is what the current clinical research tells us and this is where we think future trials will lead’.”
Safer Care Victoria has commissioned the delivery of the workshops. The aim is to present the workshops to all birth suites across Victoria by 2020.
The seminar provides in-depth understanding of
- Time of onset of breathing and cord-clamping.
- Effect on an infant’s blood pressure, cardiac output, heart rate and blood volume.
- Blood transfusion between the fetus and placenta.
- Effects of umbilical cord-milking
- More than five per cent of newborns born worldwide need help breathing immediately after birth.
- Worldwide, more than 800,000 newborns die annually because they do not breathe well after birth.
- The majority of newborns that die are born in developing countries, but are born at full-term and are otherwise completely healthy.
- Birth asphyxia is a result of a newborn being deprived of oxygen for long enough during the birth process to cause physical harm, usually to the brain.
- Babies with mild or moderate birth asphyxia may recover fully. Babies who have long periods of asphyxia may develop permanent injury, which could affect their brain, heart, lungs, kidneys or other organs.
Hudson Institute communications
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