Prestigious grant to improve newborn survival

Hudson Institute researchers have been awarded a $140,000 Vanguard Grant to improve the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) outcomes of newborn babies. This esteemed grant is awarded by the Heart foundation to fund innovative cardiovascular health research.

L – R: Dr Beth Allison, Dr Vanesa Stojanovska, Associate Professor Graeme Polglase, Dr Calum Roberts

The Heart Foundation Vanguard Grant supports research aimed at reducing premature death and suffering associated with cardiovascular health in Australia. The team including Associate Professor Graeme Polglase, Dr Beth Allison, Dr Calum Roberts and Dr Vanesa Stojanovska will use this grant to determine the best way to deliver CPR to vulnerable newborns.

Severe deprivation of oxygen to newborn infants, known as perinatal asphyxia causes an estimated one million deaths worldwide annually, with most deaths occurring within the first hours of life. In the delivery room these newborns require CPR and many will not survive. The few that do survive after CPR will often have devastating outcomes, including a high risk of cardiovascular disease and brain injury.

In this pioneering study the team will determine when and how, in conjunction with umbilical cord clamping to best administer chest compressions, ventilation and adrenalin to newborns.

A/Prof Polglase is confident that the outcomes of this study will significantly improve the survival of vulnerable infants.

“These short-term benefits will have life-long impact on morbidity and mortality of asphyxiated newborns.”

“The outcomes will lead directly to clinical trials to assess the feasibility of these interventions in asphyxiated newborns at Monash Health with the ultimate goal to reduce global illness and death by using an intervention that is completely free.” A/Prof Polglase said.

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