• Life and death decisions for incompetent patients: determining best interests--the Irish perspective.

      Armstrong, K; Ryan, C A; Hawkes, C P; Janvier, A; Dempsey, E M; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      AIMS: To determine whether healthcare providers apply the best interest principle equally to different resuscitation decisions. METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to consultants, trainees in neonatology, paediatrics, obstetrics and 4th medical students. It examined resuscitation scenarios of critically ill patients all needing immediate resuscitation. Outcomes were described including survival and potential long-term sequelae. Respondents were asked whether they would intubate, whether resuscitation was in the patients best interest, would they accept surrogate refusal to initiate resuscitation and in what order they would resuscitate. RESULTS: The response rate was 74%. The majority would wish resuscitation for all except the 80-year-old. It was in the best interest of the 2-month-old and the 7-year-old to be resuscitated compared to the remaining scenarios (p value <0.05 for each comparison). Approximately one quarter who believed it was in a patient best interests to be resuscitated would nonetheless accept the family refusing resuscitation. Medical students were statistically more likely to advocate resuscitation in each category. CONCLUSION: These results suggest resuscitation is not solely related to survival or long-term outcome and the best interest principle is applied differently, more so at the beginning of life.
    • Life and death decisions for incompetent patients: determining best interests--the Irish perspective.

      Armstrong, K; Ryan, C A; Hawkes, C P; Janvier, A; Dempsey, E M; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2011-04)
      These results suggest resuscitation is not solely related to survival or long-term outcome and the best interest principle is applied differently, more so at the beginning of life.
    • Local anaesthetic eye drops for prevention of pain in preterm infants undergoing screening for retinopathy of prematurity.

      Dempsey, Eugene; McCreery, Kathryn; Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Screening examinations for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are performed routinely in the neonatal intensive care unit and are a recognised cause of pain in the newborn. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of instillation of topical anaesthetic eye drops compared with placebo or no treatment on pain in infants undergoing ROP screening. SEARCH STRATEGY: We used the standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. This included a search of the Cochrane Neonatal Group register and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library, Issue 10, 2010). We identified relevant studies by searching the following: (1) computerised bibliographic databases: MEDLINE (1966 to October 2010), EMBASE (1988 to October 2010) and Web of Science (1975 to March 2010; (2) the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials. We searched electronically abstracts from PAS from 2000 to 2010 and handsearched abstracts from ESPR from 2000 to 2009. SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised, or quasi-randomised controlled trials, or randomised cross-over trials. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. MAIN RESULTS: We identified two studies for inclusion. Both studies were randomised cross-over trials performed in single centres. Both studies used the Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP) score as a measure of pain response. Different methods of evaluating PIPP scores are presented including the absolute PIPP score, a PIPP score > 10 or > 12 and an increase in PIPP >/= 4 from the baseline value. There is a nonsignificant reduction in pain scores at one minute and a nonsignificant increase at five minutes post insertion of the speculum. PIPP score > 12 at one minute resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the number of patients who experienced pain (typical risk ratio (RR) 0.56, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.89; typical risk difference (RD) -0.23, 95% CI -0.39 to -0.86; number needed to treat to benefit (NNTB) 4). When pain was defined as an increase in PIPP > 4 there was a statistically significant reduction in the absolute number of patients who experienced pain at one minute (typical RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.94; typical RD -0.19, 95% CI -0.34 to -0.04; NNTB 5.3). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The administration of topical proparacaine 30 seconds prior to the ophthalmological evaluation was associated with a reduction in pain scores especially at the time of speculum insertion. However, despite treatment, screening remains a painful procedure and the role of nonpharmacological and pharmacological intervention including different local anaesthetic agents should be ascertained in future randomised trials.
    • The management of reduced fetal movements in an uncomplicated pregnancy at term: results from an anonymous national online survey in the Republic of Ireland.

      Unterscheider, J; Horgan, R P; Greene, R A; Higgins, J R; The Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University, College Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland., julia_unterscheider@hotmail.com (2012-01-31)
      There is currently inconsistent evidence and clinical guidance on how to best manage a pregnancy complicated by reduced fetal movements. This novel, web-based, anonymous questionnaire evaluated 96 assessment and management approaches from doctors working in obstetrics in the Republic of Ireland who were presented with a clinical scenario of a primigravida concerned about reduced fetal movements at 39+3 weeks' gestation. This study identified a lack of clinical practice guidelines available in maternity hospitals in the Republic of Ireland. We demonstrated that almost all clinicians applied more than one assessment method and that most incorporated a cardiotocograph into their assessment. There was a low uptake of simple symphysio-fundal height measurement and high usage of kickcharts. The minority of clinicians admitted or induced their patients. This survey identified the need for national and international guidelines to ensure safe antepartum care and delivery.
    • Mast cells, peptides and cardioprotection - an unlikely marriage?

      Walsh, S K; Kane, K A; Wainwright, C L; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      1 Mast cells have classically been regarded as the 'bad guys' in the setting of acute myocardial ischaemia, where their released contents are believed to contribute both to tissue injury and electrical disturbances resulting from ischaemia. Recent evidence suggests, however, that if mast cell degranulation occurs in advance of ischaemia onset, this may be cardioprotective by virtue of the depletion of mast cell contents that can no longer act as instruments of injury when the tissue becomes ischaemic. 2 Many peptides, such as ET-1, adrenomedullin, relaxin and atrial natriuretic peptide, have been demonstrated to be cardioprotective when given prior to the onset of myocardial ischaemia, although their physiological functions are varied and the mechanisms of their cardioprotective actions appear to be diverse and often ill defined. However, one common denominator that is emerging is the ability of these peptides to modulate mast cell degranulation, raising the possibility that peptide-induced mast cell degranulation or stabilization may hold the key to a common mechanism of their cardioprotection. 3 The aim of this review was to consolidate the evidence implying that mast cell degranulation could play both a detrimental and protective role in myocardial ischaemia, depending upon when it occurs, and that this may underlie the cardioprotective effects of a range of diverse peptides that exerts physiological effects within the cardiovascular system.
    • Metabolic profiling uncovers a phenotypic signature of small for gestational age in early pregnancy.

      Horgan, Richard P; Broadhurst, David I; Walsh, Sarah K; Dunn, Warwick B; Brown, Marie; Roberts, Claire T; North, Robyn A; McCowan, Lesley M; Kell, Douglas B; Baker, Philip N; et al. (2012-01-31)
      Being born small for gestational age (SGA) confers increased risks of perinatal morbidity and mortality and increases the risk of cardiovascular complications and diabetes in later life. Accumulating evidence suggests that the etiology of SGA is usually associated with poor placental vascular development in early pregnancy. We examined metabolomic profiles using ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) in three independent studies: (a) venous cord plasma from normal and SGA babies, (b) plasma from a rat model of placental insufficiency and controls, and (c) early pregnancy peripheral plasma samples from women who subsequently delivered a SGA baby and controls. Multivariate analysis by cross-validated Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) of all 3 studies showed a comprehensive and similar disruption of plasma metabolism. A multivariate predictive model combining 19 metabolites produced by a Genetic Algorithm-based search program gave an Odds Ratio for developing SGA of 44, with an area under the Receiver Operator Characteristic curve of 0.9. Sphingolipids, phospholipids, carnitines, and fatty acids were among this panel of metabolites. The finding of a consistent discriminatory metabolite signature in early pregnancy plasma preceding the onset of SGA offers insight into disease pathogenesis and offers the promise of a robust presymptomatic screening test.
    • Midwives' experiences of facilitating normal birth in an obstetric-led unit: a feminist perspective.

      Keating, Annette; Fleming, Valerie E M; Centre of Midwifery Education, Fifth floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital,, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. Annette.Keating@mailp.hse.ie (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: to explore midwives' experiences of facilitating normal birth in an obstetric-led unit. DESIGN: a feminist approach using semi-structured interviews focusing on midwives' perceptions of normal birth and their ability to facilitate this birth option in an obstetric-led unit. SETTING: Ireland. PARTICIPATION: a purposeful sample of 10 midwives with 6-30 years of midwifery experience. All participants had worked for a minimum of 6 years in a labour ward setting, and had been in their current setting for the previous 2 years. FINDINGS: the midwives' narratives related to the following four concepts of patriarchy: 'hierarchical thinking', 'power and prestige', 'a logic of domination' and 'either/or thinking' (dualisms). Two themes, 'hierarchical thinking' and 'either/or thinking', (dualisms) along with their subthemes are presented in this paper. KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: this study identified some of the reasons why midwives find it difficult to facilitate normal birth in an obstetric unit setting, and identified a need for further research in this area. Midwifery education and supportive management structures are required if midwives are to become confident practitioners of normal birth.
    • The natural history of anencephaly.

      Obeidi, Nidaa; Russell, Noirin; Higgins, John R; O'Donoghue, Keelin; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: Early elective termination of pregnancy is the most common outcome of a diagnosis of anencephaly in developed countries. Experience and expertise with management of ongoing pregnancies is limited. We aimed to investigate the natural history of these pregnancies from diagnosis to delivery and to determine timing of death. METHOD: A retrospective review of cases of anencephaly diagnosed between 2003 and 2009 in tertiary-referral university teaching hospitals in Cork. RESULTS: The majority of cases (25/26; 96%) were diagnosed prenatally at a median gestation of 21(+2) weeks (range 13(+4)-32(+4)). The median maternal age was 30 years (range 17-41) and 50% were primigravidae. Seven pregnancies were complicated by polyhydramnios and four deliveries were complicated by shoulder dystocia. The median gestation at delivery was 35 weeks (range 22(+5)-42(+6)); 69% of labours were induced at a median gestation of 34 weeks. Six women (6/26; 23%) had a pre-labour intrauterine fetal death and nine women (9/26; 35%) had an intrapartum fetal death. Median neonatal survival time was 55 min (range 10 min to 8 days). Six parents donated neonatal organs for transplantation. CONCLUSION: This study provides useful information for health professionals caring for patients with a diagnosis of anencephaly. The majority of these infants die prior to delivery but short-term survival is possible.
    • The natural history of pregnancies with a diagnosis of Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13; a retrospective case series

      Houlihan, Orla A; O’Donoghue, Keelin (2013-11-18)
      Abstract Background Trisomy 18 (T18) and trisomy 13 (T13) are the second and third commonest autosomal aneuploidy syndromes respectively. While specific aspects of affected pregnancies have been documented in the literature, few studies document the overall natural history of the trisomies. This study aimed to examine the natural history (including diagnosis, pregnancy outcome, complications and survival) of T18 and T13 pregnancies in a setting where termination of pregnancy for fetal abnormality is not available. Methods Cases were identified using birth registers, labour ward records, annual reports, medical records, ultrasound reports and reports from prenatal genetic testing. All identified T18 and T13 pregnancies in the study region from 2001 to 2012 were included. Individual chart reviews were performed for each case. Data were analysed using SPSS Version 20. Results Forty-six T18 and twenty-four T13 pregnancies were identified. Most T18 cases (65%) were diagnosed prenatally, while only one third (33%) of T13 cases were prenatally diagnosed. Only three T18 pregnancies and one T13 pregnancy were electively terminated. A proportion of undiagnosed infants were delivered by emergency caesarean section. 48% (T18) and 46% (T13) infants survived following birth, for a median of 1.5 days (T18) and 7 days (T13). One T13 infant is currently alive over one year of age. Conclusions This large series provides information for professionals and women regarding the natural histories of trisomies 18 and 13. These pregnancies can go undiagnosed antenatally without routine anomaly scanning. While many fetuses die in-utero, postnatal survival is possible.
    • Neonatal Therapeutic Hypothermia in Ireland Annual Report 2016-2017

      Meaney, S; McGinley, J; Horkan, S; Corcoran, P; Greene, RA; Murphy, J; National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology University College Cork (National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, 2018)
    • The Neopuff's PEEP valve is flow sensitive.

      Hawkes, Colin Patrick; Dempsey, Eugene Michael; Ryan, C Anthony; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2011-03)
      Users of the Neopuff should be aware that the PEEP valve is more sensitive at lower flow rates and that half a rotation of the dial at 5 L/min gas flow can more than double the PEEP.
    • The Neopuff's PEEP valve is flow sensitive.

      Hawkes, Colin Patrick; Dempsey, Eugene Michael; Ryan, C Anthony; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      AIM: The current recommendation in setting up the Neopuff is to use a gas flow of 5-15 L/min. We investigated if the sensitivity of the positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) valve varies at different flow rates within this range. METHODS: Five Neopuffs were set up to provide a PEEP of 5 cm H(2) O. The number of clockwise revolutions to complete occlusion of the PEEP valve and the mean and range of pressures at each quarter clockwise revolution were recorded at gas flow rates between 5 and 15 L/min. Results: At 5, 10 and 15 L/min, 0.5, 1.7 and 3.4 full clockwise rotations were required to completely occlude the PEEP valve, and pressures rose from 5 to 11.4, 18.4 and 21.5 cm H(2) O, respectively. At a flow rate of 5 L/min, half a rotation of the PEEP dial resulted in a rise in PEEP from 5 to 11.4cm H(2) O. At 10 L/min, half a rotation resulted in a rise from 5 to 7.7cm H(2) O, and at 15 L/min PEEP rose from 5 to 6.8cm H(2) O. CONCLUSION: Users of the Neopuff should be aware that the PEEP valve is more sensitive at lower flow rates and that half a rotation of the dial at 5 L/min gas flow can more than double the PEEP.
    • Neurologic Outcomes in Very Preterm Infants Undergoing Surgery.

      Department of Neonatal Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia;, Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork,, Republic of Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between surgery in very preterm infants and brain structure at term equivalent and 2-year neurodevelopmental outcome. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 227 infants born at <30 weeks gestation or at a birth weight of <1250 g were prospectively enrolled into a longitudinal observational cohort for magnetic resonance imaging and developmental follow-up. The infants were categorized retrospectively into either a nonsurgical group (n=178) or a surgical group (n=30). Nineteen infants were excluded because of incomplete or unsuitable data. The surgical and nonsurgical groups were compared in terms of clinical demographic data, white matter injury, and brain volume at term. Neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed at age 2 years. RESULTS: Compared with the nonsurgical group, the infants in the surgical group were smaller and more growth-restricted at birth, received more respiratory support and oxygen therapy, and had longer hospital stays. They also had smaller brain volumes, particularly smaller deep nuclear gray matter volumes. Infants who underwent bowel surgery had greater white matter injury. Mental Developmental Index scores were lower in the surgical group, whereas Psychomotor Developmental Index scores did not differ between the groups. The Mental Developmental Index difference became nonsignificant after adjustment for confounding variables. CONCLUSION: Preterm infants exposed to surgery and anesthesia had greater white matter injury and smaller total brain volumes, particularly smaller deep nuclear gray matter volumes. Surgical exposure in the preterm infant should alert the clinician to an increased risk for adverse cognitive outcome.
    • Ni neart gan chur le cheile "no strength unless together": addressing the naked emperor of interprofessional education in Ireland.

      Ryan, C Anthony; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital and Department of, Paediatrics and Child Health, College of Medicine and Health, University College , Cork, Ireland. tonyryan007@gmail.com (2012-01-31)
    • No more tears? Maternal involvement during the newborn screening examination.

      Ganda, Augustine Josie; Fara Ibrahim, Laila; Natchimutu, Kannan; Ryan, C Anthony; Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland, University College Cork, Cork,, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Babies often show signs of discomfort and distress by crying during the neonatal screening examination (NSE). The authors hypothesized that supporting the baby with maternal participation may reduce infant crying during NSE. The objective of this study was to document incidental infant crying during NSE, before and after training residents, on maternal involvement and infant comfort techniques to help. METHODS: A total of 20 NSEs of normal newborn babies by pediatric residents were observed (video-recorded) following informed consent of the doctor and the baby's mother. The examining doctors were then taught how to use maternal participation and developmental care (MPDC) comfort techniques to support the baby during NSE. Mothers were shown how to focus on their baby's needs by supporting the baby's head (preventing atonic neck reflexes) and, if necessary, providing nonnutritive sucking to the baby and an encouraging, repetitive low-tone voices to sooth the baby. A further 14 NSEs on different babies were video-recorded using these techniques. The video recordings were analyzed by independent observers for total length of crying and duration of crying during specific components of the NSE. Mothers in both groups were given a questionnaire to assess their opinions of the NSE. RESULTS: The median length of crying was significantly longer in the pre-MPDC group (93.5 seconds; range 0-198 seconds) compared with the post-MPDC infants (0 seconds; range 0-123 seconds; P = .001). Only 1 of 20 infants in the pre-MPDC did not cry during NSE compared with 8 of 14 babies in the post-MPDC group. CONCLUSION: Newborn infants cry less and mothers were more satisfied with NSEs when shown simple support and comfort techniques for their babies.
    • Nucleated red blood cells and early EEG: predicting Sarnat stage and two year outcome.

      Walsh, B H; Boylan, G B; Murray, D M; Neonatal Brain Research Group, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, , Ireland. Bh.walsh@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      AIMS: Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE) causes characteristic changes of the electroencephalogram (EEG), and a raised Nucleated Red Blood Cell (NRBC) count compared to controls. We wished to examine whether combining these markers could improve their ability to predict HIE severity in the first 24h. METHODS: Term infants with HIE were recruited. NRBC count and continuous multi-channel EEG were recorded within the first 24h. Neurological assessment was carried out at 24 months. A control population with NRBC counts in the first 24h was recruited. RESULTS: 44 infants with HIE and 43 control infants were recruited. Of the HIE population 39 completed a 2 year follow-up. The median NRBC count differed significantly between the controls and those with HIE (3/100 WBC [range of 0-11] vs 12.3/100 WBC [0-240]) (p<0.001). Within the HIE population the median NRBC count was significantly greater in infants with moderate/severe HIE than mild (16/100 WBC [range of 0-240] vs 8/100 WBC [1-23]) (p=0.016), and among infants with abnormal outcome compared to normal (21.3/100 WBC [1-239.8] vs 8.3/100 WBC [0-50])(p=0.03). The predictive ability of EEG changed with time post-delivery, therefore results are given at both 12 and 24h of age. At both time points the combined marker had a stronger correlation than EEG alone; with HIE severity (12h: r=0.661 vs r=0.622), (24h: r=0.645 vs r=0.598), and with outcome at 2 years (12h: r=0.756 vs r=0.652), (24h: r=0.802 vs r=0.746). CONCLUSION: Combining early EEG and NRBC count to predict HIE severity and neurological outcome, improved the predictive ability of either in isolation.
    • Oocyte Donation Pregnancies- Non-Disclosure of Oocyte Recipient Status to Obstetric Care Providers and Perinatal Outcomes.

      Geisler; Meaney, S; O’Donoghue, K; Waterstone, J (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-11)
      Oocyte donation pregnancies- non-disclosure of oocyte recipient (OR) status to obstetric care providers and perinatal outcomes.Many studies report a higher rate of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and severe pre-eclampsia (PET) in OR pregnancies. The objective is to determine the rates of non-disclosure of OR pregnancy to obstetric care providers and also the rates of perinatal complications.
    • Optimising preterm nutrition: present and future

      Brennan, Ann-Marie; Murphy, Brendan P.; Kiely, Mairead E. (2016-04-01)
      The goal of preterm nutrition in achieving growth and body composition approximating that of the fetus of the same postmenstrual age is difficult to achieve. Current nutrition recommendations depend largely on expert opinion, due to lack of evidence, and are primarily birth weight based, with no consideration given to gestational age and/or need for catch-up growth. Assessment of growth is based predominately on anthropometry, which gives insufficient attention to the quality of growth. The present paper provides a review of the current literature on the nutritional management and assessment of growth in preterm infants. It explores several approaches that may be required to optimise nutrient intakes in preterm infants, such as personalising nutritional support, collection of nutrient intake data in real-time, and measurement of body composition. In clinical practice, the response to inappropriate nutrient intakes is delayed as the effects of under- or overnutrition are not immediate, and there is limited nutritional feedback at the cot-side. The accurate and non-invasive measurement of infant body composition, assessed by means of air displacement plethysmography, has been shown to be useful in assessing quality of growth. The development and implementation of personalised, responsive nutritional management of preterm infants, utilising real-time nutrient intake data collection, with ongoing nutritional assessments that include measurement of body composition is required to help meet the individual needs of preterm infants.
    • Palivizumab use in preterm neonates.

      Kingston, S; Murphy, B P; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork. (2012-01-31)
      Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of bronchiolitis in infants. Palivizumab is an immunoprophylactic agent for RSV prevention in preterm infants and those with neonatal chronic lung disease. This study examines its use across neonatal units in Ireland. A questionnaire was administered to one Consultant Neonatologist or Paediatrician in each of the 20 maternity centres in Ireland about their guidelines for Palivizumab administration. There is variation in administration of Palivizumab with little consistency found between protocols reported in terms of age and presence of chronic lung disease. Ten centres have in house protocols, 3 centres use the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) guidelines, 2 centres prefer the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidelines and 3 centres do not have a set protocol. Four participants felt its use has impacted on hospital admissions and 61% believe its use is cost effective. The budgetary implication for immunoprophylaxis with Palivizumab in Ireland is estimated at 1.5 to 2 million euros annually. Given current pharmacoeconomic constraints there is a need to implement a national protocol on RSV immunoprophylaxis.
    • Parents’ concerns about future pregnancy after stillbirth: a qualitative study

      Meaney, Sarah; Everard, Claire M.; Gallagher, Stephen; O'Donoghue, Keelin; National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre; University College Cork; Cork Ireland; Cork University Maternity Hospital; Cork Ireland; Centre for Social Issues Research; Department of Psychology; University of Limerick; Limerick Ireland; Pregnancy Loss Research Group; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology University College Cork; Ireland (2016-07)
      As stillbirth has a devastating impact, it is imperative to understand the importance of clinical and emotional care after stillbirth and how it influences subsequent pregnancies. The aim of the study was to gain insight into the consideration and planning of a subsequent pregnancy by parents in the weeks following stillbirth.