One the reasons New Zealand has such a high quality of neonatal care is the robust research undertaken in this field. This is research developed under a strong framework and with appropriate safeguards, checks & balances and control groups. Below is another example of this and they are seeking babies to participate in order to reach the desired number of those involved.
Would you help by participating and/or spreading the word with your neonatal connections?
Wellington Hospital (in conjunction with University of Otago Wellington), Middlemore Hospital and Palmerston North Hospital have been selected to trial a new injected human-like antibody to protect babies from bronchiolitis. The antibody is injected into the buttock and is a small volume. Baby would need to have a baseline blood to make sure they are eligible. Baby would stay for an hour or two after the injection just for normal safety practices. The study requires babies born at less than 36 weeks and who will be less than 6 months of age at the start of the RSV season (Mid May). The study has been approved by NZ Ethics Committee
Families will need to be:
a) Willing to have baseline bloods taken and 1-2 extra samples over the next 5 months. 1 ½ tsp (7.5 mils) of blood in total
b) Willing to return for check-ups on day 2, 29, 57(+/-5), 85(+/-5), 113(+/-5) and day 150 (+/-5) after treatment
c) Willing to bring their child back to be seen if they develop wheeze or breathless ness over the period of the RSV season ( approx. May-July) for a nose swab to confirm if RSV has occurred or not.
All costs like transport and parking will be covered. Babies have a 1/3 chance of getting 2 doses of antibody 1/3 chance of getting one dose of antibody and 1 dose of saline or 1/3 chance of getting 2 doses of saline. Preliminary studies last year in NZ and overseas has shown the antibody is VERY safe with no important side effects at all. NB it is an antibody [like mothers normally pass on to babies who reach term through the placenta] not a vaccine so there are no late fevers etc
2/3 will hopefully get some or total protection from RSV, a virus that can make babies (and particularly preterm babies) very sick- some end up in intensive care and an occasional one each year ends up in Starship intensive care. The other 1/3 will get saline x 2. They will have the same outcome as all babies in NZ but with the advantage they will be seen by paediatricians and paediatric nurse a bit more often than most!
For the Wellington Region we are happy to enroll any infants within greater Wellington (Kapiti up to Waikanae, Hutt, Porirua and Wellington) but parents must be willing to attend clinics in Wellington on dates as above.
Please refer all questions and expressions of interest to:
Marina Dzhelali, Service leader Research Office (Wellington Hospital) CCDHB Wellington
Dr Michael Meyer (Middlemore Hospital)
Dr Jeff Brown (Palmerston North Hospital)