Research confirms no long term effects

"It has clearly shown children born to mothers who were given repeat corticosteroids were no more likely to have health or development problems than those born to women who weren't given repeat doses,"

Neonatal monitorAround 5000 babies are born prematurely in New Zealand each year.  A joint New Zealand and Australian study of 1000 children born prematurely has found no long-term complications from corticosteroid use in pregnancy.

Antenatal steroids reduce the risk of pre-term lung disease in premature babies, the need for a ventilator, infection, serious gut complications and bleeding into the brain.  They speed up the development of unborn baby's lungs, gut, and cardiovascular and immune systems, which do not fully mature until after 36 weeks. 

While single courses are routinely given to at-risk women, not all are given repeat doses due to "lingering and misplaced doubts about the long-term safety of this powerful drug", the Liggins Institute said in a statement.

A recent study as found that corticosterois have no adverse effects on brain development, cardiovascular or metabolic health.  Researcher at the Liggins Institute and neonatologist at Middlemore Hospital, Dr Chris McKinlay said these results should "completely reassure doctors about the short-term benefits and long-term safety of repeat doses – meaning they can use antenatal corticosteroids to their fullest benefit". 

"It has clearly shown children born to mothers who were given repeat corticosteroids were no more likely to have health or development problems than those born to women who weren't given repeat doses," McKinlay said. 

Read the full article here:   www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/91351235/research-confirms-longterm-safety-of-lifesaving-treatment-for-premature-babies

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You can read more about neonatal research here (a number of links to specific research articles in the text that goes with the image)

 

 

Thank you to The Neonatal Trust's Partners