• Early blood glucose profile and neurodevelopmental outcome at two years in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

      Nadeem, Montasser; Murray, Deirdre M; Boylan, Geraldine B; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, Cornelius A; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2011-02)
      To examine the blood glucose profile and the relationship between blood glucose levels and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.
    • Early blood glucose profile and neurodevelopmental outcome at two years in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

      Nadeem, Montasser; Murray, Deirdre M; Boylan, Geraldine B; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, Cornelius A; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: To examine the blood glucose profile and the relationship between blood glucose levels and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. METHODS: Blood glucose values within 72 hours of birth were collected from 52 term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Hypoglycaemia [< 46.8 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)] and hyperglycaemia [> 150 mg/dL (8.3 mmol/L)] were correlated to neurodevelopmental outcome at 24 months of age. RESULTS: Four fifths of the 468 blood samples were in the normoglycaemic range (392/468:83.8%). Of the remaining 76 samples, 51.3% were in the hypoglycaemic range and (48.7%) were hyperglycaemic. A quarter of the hypoglycaemic samples (28.2%:11/39) and a third of the hyperglycaemic samples (32.4%:12/37) were recorded within the first 30 minutes of life. Mean (SD) blood glucose values did not differ between infants with normal and abnormal outcomes [4.89(2.28) mmol/L and 5.02(2.35) mmol/L, p value = 0.15] respectively. In term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, early hypoglycaemia (between 0-6 hours of life) was associated with adverse outcome at 24 months of age [OR = 5.8, CI = 1.04-32)]. On multivariate analysis to adjust for grade of HIE this association was not statistically significant. Late hypoglycaemia (6-72 hours of life) was not associated with abnormal outcome [OR = 0.22, CI (0.04-1.14)]. The occurrence of hyperglycaemia was not associated with adverse outcome. CONCLUSION: During the first 72 hours of life, blood glucose profile in infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy varies widely despite a management protocol. Early hypoglycaemia (0-6 hours of life) was associated with severe HIE, and thereby; adverse outcome.
    • Early continuous video electroencephalography in neonatal stroke.

      Walsh, Brian H; Low, Evonne; Bogue, Conor O; Murray, Deirdre M; Boylan, Geraldine B; Neonatal Brain Research Group, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, , Ireland. Bh.walsh@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      Perinatal stroke is the second most common cause of neonatal seizures, and can result in long-term neurological impairment. Diagnosis is often delayed until after seizure onset, owing to the subtle nature of associated signs. We report the early electroencephalographic (EEG) findings in a female infant with a perinatal infarction, born at 41 weeks 2 days and weighing 3.42 kg. Before the onset of seizures, the EEG from 3 hours after delivery demonstrated occasional focal sharp waves over the affected region. After electroclinical seizures, focal sharp waves became more frequent, complex, and of higher amplitude, particularly in 'quiet sleep'. In 'active sleep', sharp waves often disappeared. Diffusion-weighted imaging confirmed the infarct, demonstrating left frontal and parietal diffusion restriction. At 9 months, the infant has had no further seizures, and neurological examination is normal. To our knowledge, this report is the first to describe the EEG findings in perinatal stroke before seizures, and highlights the evolution of characteristic background EEG features.
    • The effect of moderate gestational alcohol consumption during pregnancy on speech and language outcomes in children: a systematic review

      O’Keeffe, Linda M; Greene, Richard A; Kearney, Patricia M (2014-01-02)
      Abstract Background Consensus has not been reached on safe alcohol consumption recommendations during pregnancy. The National Institutes for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) in the UK suggest that one to two drinks not more than twice per week is safe. However, the speech and language effects of even low levels of alcohol use among offspring are unknown. The aim of this study was to review systematically the evidence on studies of the effect of low to moderate levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy (up to 70 grams of alcohol per week) compared to abstinence on speech and language outcomes in children. Methods Using medical subject headings, PubMed, Web of knowledge, Scopus, Embase, Cinahl and the Cochrane Library were searched from their inception up to March 2012. Case control and cohort studies were included. Two assessors independently reviewed titles, abstracts and full articles, extracted data and assessed quality. Results A total of 1,397 titles and abstracts were reviewed of which 51 full texts were retrieved. Three cohort studies totaling 10,642 women met the inclusion criteria. All three studies, (United States (2) and Australia (1)) indicated that language was not impaired as a result of low to moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Two studies were judged to be of low quality based on a six-item bias classification tool. Due to heterogeneity, results could not be meta-analyzed. Conclusion Studies included in this review do not provide sufficient evidence to confirm or refute an association between low to moderate alcohol use during pregnancy and speech and language outcomes in children. High quality, population based studies are required to establish the safety of low to moderate levels of alcohol use such as those set out by the NICE guidelines in the UK.
    • The effects of maternal body mass index on pregnancy outcome.

      Khashan, A S; Kenny, L C; The Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cork, University Maternity Hospital, University College Cork, Wilton, Cork, Ireland., a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      The increasing prevalence of obesity is presenting a critical challenge to healthcare services. We examined the effect of Body Mass Index in early pregnancy on adverse pregnancy outcome. We performed a population register-based cohort study using data from the North Western Perinatal survey (N = 99,403 babies born during 2004-2006), based at The University of Manchester, UK. The main outcome measures were Caesarean section delivery, preterm birth, neonatal death, stillbirth, Macrosomia, small for gestational age and large for gestational age. The risk of preterm birth was reduced by almost 10% in overweight (RR = 0.89, [95% CI: 0.83, 0.95]) and obese women (RR = 0.90, [95% CI: 0.84, 0.97]) and was increased in underweight women (RR = 1.33, [95% CI: 1.16, 1.53]). Overweight (RR = 1.17, [95% CI: 1.09, 1.25]), obese (RR = 1.35, [95% CI: 1.25, 1.45]) and morbidly obese (RR = 1.24, [95% CI: 1.02, 1.52]) women had an elevated risk of post-term birth compared to normal women. The risk of fetal macrosomia and operative delivery increased with BMI such that morbidly obese women were at greatest risk of both (RR of macrosomia = 4.78 [95% CI: 3.86, 5.92] and RR of Caesarean section = 1.66 [95% CI: 1.61, 1.71] and a RR of emergency Caesarean section = 1.59 [95% CI: 1.45, 1.75]). Excessive leanness and obesity are associated with different adverse pregnancy outcomes with major maternal and fetal complications. Overweight and obese women have a higher risk of macrosomia and Caesarean delivery and lower risk of preterm delivery. The mechanism underlying this association is unclear and is worthy of further investigation.
    • An epidemiological study of factors associated with preterm Infant in-hospital mortality

      Lutomski, J; Dempsey, E; Molloy, E (Irish Medical Journal, 2013-01)
    • Evaluation and treatment of hypotension in the preterm infant.

      Dempsey, E M; Barrington, K J; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      A large proportion of very preterm infants receive treatment for hypotension. The definition of hypotension is unclear, and, currently, there is no evidence that treating it improves outcomes or, indeed, which treatment to choose among the available alternatives. Assessment of circulatory adequacy of the preterm infant requires a careful clinical assessment and may also require ancillary investigations. The most commonly used interventions, fluid boluses and dopamine, are problematic: fluid boluses are statistically associated with worse clinical outcomes and may not even increase blood pressure, whereas dopamine increases blood pressure mostly by causing vasoconstriction and may decrease perfusion. For neither intervention is there any reliable data showing clinical benefit. Prospective trials of intervention for hypotension and circulatory compromise are urgently required.
    • The Expression of Inflammatory Mediators in Bladder Pain Syndrome.

      Offiah, Ifeoma; Didangelos, Athanasios; Dawes, John; Cartwright, Rufus; Khullar, Vik; Bradbury, Elizabeth J; O'Sullivan, Suzanne; Williams, Dic; Chessell, Iain P; Pallas, Kenny; et al. (European urology, 2016-08)
      Bladder pain syndrome (BPS) pathology is poorly understood. Treatment strategies are empirical, with limited efficacy, and affected patients have diminished quality of life.
    • Fetal heart rate patterns in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy: relationship with early cerebral activity and neurodevelopmental outcome.

      Murray, Deirdre M; O'Riordan, Mairead N; Horgan, Richard; Boylan, Geraldine; Higgins, John R; Ryan, Cornelius A; Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork, Cork, University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. d.murray@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      Despite widespread use of fetal heart rate monitoring, the timing of injury in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) remains unclear. Our aim was to examine fetal heart rate patterns during labor in infants with clinical and electroencephalographic (EEG) evidence of HIE and to relate these findings to neurodevelopmental outcome. Timing of onset of pathological cardiotocographs (CTGs) was determined in each case by two blinded reviewers and related to EEG grade at birth and neurological outcome at 24 months. CTGs were available in 35 infants with HIE (17 mild, 12 moderate, 6 severe on EEG). Admission CTGs were normal in 24/35 (69%), suspicious in 8/35 (23%), and pathological in 3/35 (8%). All CTGs developed nonreassuring features prior to delivery. Three patterns of fetal heart rate abnormalities were seen: group 1, abnormal CTGs on admission in 11/35 (31%); group 2, normal CTGs on admission with gradual deterioration to pathological in 20/35 cases (57%); and group 3, normal CTGs on admission with acute sentinel events in 4/35 (11.5%). The median (interquartile range) duration between the development of pathological CTGs and delivery was 145 (81, 221) minutes in group 2 and 22 (12, 28) minutes in group 3. There was no correlation between duration of pathological CTG trace and grade of encephalopathy (R = 0.09, P = 0.63) or neurological outcome (P = 0.75). However, the grade of encephalopathy was significantly worse in group 3 (P = 0.001), with a trend to worse outcomes. The majority of infants with HIE have normal CTG traces on admission but develop pathological CTG patterns within hours of delivery. More severe encephalopathy was associated with normal admission CTG and acute sentinel events shortly before delivery.
    • Genetic tales

      Ryan, CA (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-05)
      Genetic diagnoses do not always happen in a clinic or as a result of a blood test. We describe how two relatively rare genetic diagnoses were made in unusual circumstances, one by self-diagnosis, the second by pattern recognition in a public space. At a recent meeting of the Irish American Pediatric Society in Charleston NC, eminent cardiologist and discoverer of Noonan Syndrome, Jacqueline Noonan, spoke of a man who wrote to her having made a self-diagnosis of Noonan syndrome: a characteristic configuration of facial features including a webbed neck and a flat nose bridge, short stature and heart defects 1 . Dr Noonan arranged to meet this 65 year-old man and personally validated him as perhaps the oldest confirmed, and first ever self-diagnosed, case of Noonan syndrome.
    • Gitelman's syndrome in pregnancy: case report and review of the literature.

      McCarthy, Fergus P; Magee, Ciara N; Plant, William D; Kenny, Louise C; The ANU Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University, College Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork., Fergus.mccarthy@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      Gitelman's syndrome (GS), a rare renal disorder, results in hypokalaemia, hypomagnesaemia, hypocalciuria and a metabolic alkalosis. It is unclear if an alteration in management is necessary or beneficial during pregnancy. A 32-year-old woman with GS was managed in her second pregnancy. Antenatally, the patient required 39 (principally day case) admissions to the hospital for intravenous (IV) therapy and received a cumulative total of 47 l of IV 0.9% saline solution, 47 doses of 20 mmol magnesium chloride and 46 doses of 80 mmol potassium chloride. She delivered a 2940-g female infant in excellent condition by caesarean section. We would suggest that close attention to maternal weight gain during pregnancy is an easily available clinical tool to assess adequacy of fluid and electrolyte repletion in this condition.
    • Hemostasis in pre-eclampsia.

      Ismail, Siti Khadijah; Higgins, John R; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland. k.ismail@ucc.ie (2011-03)
      Pre-eclampsia (P-EC) is a multisystem disorder exclusive to pregnancy. It complicates ~2 to 8% of all pregnancies and remains a major cause of maternal mortality. P-EC is characterized by a profound hypercoagulable state. The delicate hemostatic balance that must be maintained in the uteroplacental circulation during pregnancy makes this system vulnerable to perturbation. An abnormal hemostatic pattern occurs within the uteroplacental circulation in P-EC compared with normal pregnancy. Much recent research has focused on the epidemiological link between inherited thrombophilia and P-EC. The data suggest a weak statistical association, indicating an improbable primary role in the pathogenesis. Without clear evidence, low molecular weight heparins have been widely used to reduce recurrence of P-EC in thrombophilia-positive women. This practice now should be reviewed. Future research needs to focus on improving our basic scientific understanding of the role of the hemostatic system in human placentation.
    • Hemostasis in pre-eclampsia.

      Ismail, Siti Khadijah; Higgins, John R; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland. k.ismail@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      Pre-eclampsia (P-EC) is a multisystem disorder exclusive to pregnancy. It complicates ~2 to 8% of all pregnancies and remains a major cause of maternal mortality. P-EC is characterized by a profound hypercoagulable state. The delicate hemostatic balance that must be maintained in the uteroplacental circulation during pregnancy makes this system vulnerable to perturbation. An abnormal hemostatic pattern occurs within the uteroplacental circulation in P-EC compared with normal pregnancy. Much recent research has focused on the epidemiological link between inherited thrombophilia and P-EC. The data suggest a weak statistical association, indicating an improbable primary role in the pathogenesis. Without clear evidence, low molecular weight heparins have been widely used to reduce recurrence of P-EC in thrombophilia-positive women. This practice now should be reviewed. Future research needs to focus on improving our basic scientific understanding of the role of the hemostatic system in human placentation.
    • The impact of maternal celiac disease on birthweight and preterm birth: a Danish population-based cohort study.

      Khashan, A S; Henriksen, T B; Mortensen, P B; McNamee, R; McCarthy, F P; Pedersen, M G; Kenny, L C; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College , Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Adverse pregnancy outcomes have been associated with maternal celiac disease (CD). In this study, we investigate the effect of treated and untreated maternal CD on infant birthweight and preterm birth. METHODS: A population-based cohort study consisted of all singleton live births in Denmark between 1 January 1979 and 31 December 2004 was used. A total of 1,504,342 babies were born to 836,241 mothers during the study period. Of those, 1105 babies were born to women with diagnosed CD and 346 were born to women with undiagnosed CD. Women with diagnosed CD were considered as treated with a gluten free diet while women with undiagnosed CD were considered as untreated. The outcome measures were: birthweight, small for gestational age (SGA: birthweight <10th centile), very small for gestational age (VSGA: birthweight <5th centile) and preterm birth. We compared these measures in treated and untreated women with those of a reference group (no history of CD). RESULTS: Women with untreated CD delivered smaller babies [difference = -98 g (95% CI: -130, -67)], with a higher risk of SGA infants [OR = 1.31 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.63)], VSGA infants [OR = 1.54 (95% CI: 1.17, 2.03)] and preterm birth [OR = 1.33 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.72)] compared with women without CD. Women with treated CD had no increased risk of reduced mean birthweight, risk of delivering SGA and VSGA infants or preterm birth compared with women without CD. CONCLUSION: Untreated maternal CD increases the risk of reduced birthweight, the risk of delivering SGA and VSGA infants and preterm birth. Diagnosis and presumed treatment of maternal CD with a gluten-free diet appeared to result in a birthweight and preterm birth rate similar to those in women without CD.
    • The impact of stillbirth on bereaved parents: A qualitative study.

      Nuzum, Daniel; Meaney, Sarah; O'Donoghue, Keelin (PloS one, 2018-01-24)
      To explore the lived experiences and personal impact of stillbirth on bereaved parents.
    • Implementation of Thromboprophylaxis guidelines

      Cregan, A; Higgins, JR; O’Shea, S (Irish Medical Journal, 2013-03)
    • Infants who required Therapeutic Hypothermia in Ireland, 2016-2017: lay summary

      National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre (Cork University Maternity Hospital, 2018)
      The National Clinical Programme Paediatrics and Neonatology (NCPPN) has identified a gap in the knowledge available nationally to clinicians and managers regarding TH. In 2017, a collaboration was agreed between the NCPPN and the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre to examine the care of all infants who underwent TH in the years, 2016 and 2017. The primary aim of this report is to present an overview and national statistics on TH in Ireland for the years 2016 and 2017.
    • Information on preparing for birth & parenthood

      Murphy, Margaret; Jeffery, Mary; O’Sullivan, Cathy; O’ Connor, Jane; Dennehy, Valerie; O’Regan, Monica; Long, Olive; Barry, Liz; Cronin, Anne Marie; Dennehy, Jean; et al. (Health Service Excutive (HSE), 2015)
      A handbook for parents-to-be attending the Preparation for Birth and Parenthood Education programme at Cork University Maternity Hospital
    • Intrapartum caesarean rates differ significantly between ethnic groups--relationship to induction.

      Ismail, Khadijah I; Marchocki, Zbigniew; Brennan, Donal J; O'Donoghue, Keelin; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: Given international variation in obstetric practices and outcomes, comparison of labour outcomes in different ethnic groups could provide important information regarding the underlying reasons for rising caesarean delivery rates. Increasing numbers of women from Eastern European countries are now delivering in Irish maternity hospitals. We compared labour outcomes between Irish and Eastern European (EE) women in a large tertiary referral center. STUDY DESIGN: This was a prospective consecutive cohort study encompassing a single calendar year. The cohort comprised 5550 Irish and 867 EE women delivered in a single institution in 2009. Women who had multiple pregnancies, breech presentation, and elective or pre-labour caesarean sections (CS) were excluded. Data obtained from birth registers included maternal age, nationality, parity, gestation, onset of labour, mode of delivery and birth weight. RESULTS: The overall intrapartum CS rate was 11.4% and was significantly higher in Irish compared to EE women (11.8% vs. 8.8%; p=0.008). The proportion of primiparas was lower in Irish compared to EE women (44.8% vs. 63.6%; p<0.0001). The intrapartum CS rate was almost doubled in Irish compared to EE primiparas (20.7% vs. 11.0%; p<0.0001). Analysis of primiparas according to labour onset revealed a higher intrapartum CS rate in Irish primiparas in both spontaneous (13.5% vs. 7.2%; p<0.0001) and induced labour (29.5% vs. 19.3%; p=0.005). Irish women were older with 19.7% of primiparas aged more than 35, compared to 1.6% of EE women (p<0.0001). The primigravid CS rate in Irish women was significantly higher in women aged 35 years or older compared women aged less than 35 (30.6% vs. 18.3%; p<0.0001) consistent in both spontaneous and induced labour. The primiparous induction rate was 45.4% in Irish women compared to 32% in EE women, and more Irish women were induced before 41 weeks gestation. CONCLUSION: The results highlight that primigravid intrapartum CS rates were significantly lower in EE compared to Irish women. This could potentially be explained by the younger age and lower induction rates in EE primiparas. Further studies are required to determine the factors for this significant difference in labour outcomes for these two Caucasian groups.