September 27th telebriefing on premature health


Clinical Experts from Children's Hospital Boston and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses lead media teleconference to review data and offer advice on safeguarding preemie health

Chief Neonatologist from Woman's Hospital of Baton Rouge to provide insight on top preemie birth and RSV incidence states affected by hurricane season

More than 500,000 premature infants are born each year in the United States, approximately one every 60 seconds. Underdeveloped lungs and weak immune systems leave these fragile patients susceptible to respiratory illnesses. During virus season, which begins in late October, these babies are at a higher risk of developing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a disease that may be up to 10 times more deadly than influenza in children under 1 year of age. With the recent hurricanes and evacuation/relocation of hundreds of thousands of citizens in southern U.S. states, it is possible that these infants are more exposed to risk factors and may be at increased risk for infectious diseases.

The states in the hurricane region are among those with the nation's highest number of preemie births, and the public health consequences for these vulnerable infants is of increasing concern. Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, have the three highest premature birth rates in the U.S.; 13.9 percent, 17.9 percent, 15.7 percent, and 15.6 percent respectively, according to the latest CDC data released in 2005. These states also have had high incidence rates of RSV in the past few years.

RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory infection and viral death in children under 5 years of age.
RSV is leading cause of hospitalization of children under age 1.
Because RSV shares many symptoms with the common cold and influenza, it often goes un- or misdiagnosed, raising the risk of serious health complications. During this national media teleconference, experts from Children's Hospital Boston and the National Association of Neonatal

Nurses will discuss:
Recent studies on the long-term impact of RSV on children's health
Signs/symptoms of and treatment for RSV
How to protect infants from RSV infection and promote long-term lung health

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT
Call-in number is: 1-800-362-0571 ID: 7RSV

Dr. Kenneth McIntosh
Infectious Disease Specialist, Children's Hospital Boston
Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

2. Dr. Anne Hansen
Neonatologist, NICU Medical Director, Children's Hospital Boston
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

3. Dr. Steven B. Spedale
Chief Neonatologist
Woman's Hospital of Baton Rouge

4. Angela Burd, R.N.C., C.C.N.S.
NICU Advanced Practice Nurse, National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) representative

5. Dr. John J. Labella, F.A.A.P.
Pediatrician, Children's Community Pediatrics, Cranberry Township, Pa.

6. Maureen Doolan Boyle
Executive Director, Mothers of Supertwins (MOST)
7. A mother of two children: a child who had RSV and a preemie who received RSV-prevention medication

This telephone press briefing is underwritten by MedImmune, Inc.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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