Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Find Method To Detect Infection Earlier In Newborns

Date:
January 11, 2001
Source:
University Of Virginia Health System
Summary:
Medical researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have developed a method that may alert physicians to early stages of severe infection in newborn infants.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Jan. 1 -- Medical researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have developed a method that may alert physicians to early stages of severe infection in newborn infants.

In this month's edition of the journal Pediatrics, two U.Va. researchers -- neonatologist Dr. M. Pamela Griffin and cardiologist Dr. J. Randall Moorman -- describe a new system for detecting subtle abnormalities of the heartbeat that may forewarn doctors about infection before the baby looks sick.

"Infection is a major cause of illness and death in newborn babies, and especially in premature infants," Griffin said. "As many as 25 percent of very premature babies in intensive care units develop serious bloodstream infections, making their death rate twice as high and hospitalizations much longer."

Griffin and Moorman suspected that closer examination of heart rate patterns or characteristics in premature or sick newborns might show changes that were too subtle to detect with heart rate monitors currently used in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Using a new kind of mathematical analysis, they found that infants did have abnormal heart rate characteristics hours before other signs of illness were evident.

"The characteristics we see in newborns who are developing infection are similar to the abnormalities we see in cases of fetal distress," Griffin said. "Our point of view is that newborns are fetuses that have graduated into a new environment and are experiencing stress from different factors, like bacterial infections, but have a similar physiological response."

The researchers worked with computer software engineers at Medical Automation Systems in Charlottesville to develop a continuous on-line monitoring procedure that requires no contact with the infant other than standard skin patches to monitor heart rate.

Griffin and Moorman studied three groups: babies showing signs of illness whose blood tested positive for infection; infants who had similar signs but had blood testing negative for infection; and a control group without signs of illness. The infants were at high risk for infection because of low birthweight, prematurity and more than two weeks' hospitalization.

"We found that abnormal heart rate characteristics preceded visible symptoms by as much as 24 hours," Moorman said. "That means something was happening early that doctors would not yet be aware of. By the time signs and symptoms show and prompt doctors to do blood tests, sepsis can have quickly developed to a severe level."

Since the published work was completed, the researchers have studied 350 infants in NICUs at U.Va. and Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina, and found that the monitoring strategy developed at U.Va. was also effective at the second hospital.

Griffin and Moorman believe the earlier detection method will cut mortality and illness rates among NICU babies, in addition to saving health care dollars by shortening hospital stays. They will soon begin a multicenter clinical study of their device to monitor heart rate characteristics for purposes of seeking FDA approval.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Virginia Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Virginia Health System. "Researchers Find Method To Detect Infection Earlier In Newborns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010110075511.htm>.
University Of Virginia Health System. (2001, January 11). Researchers Find Method To Detect Infection Earlier In Newborns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010110075511.htm
University Of Virginia Health System. "Researchers Find Method To Detect Infection Earlier In Newborns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010110075511.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins