Jump to content

JOIN THE DISCUSSION!

Want to join the discussions?

Sign up for a free membership! 

If you are a member already, log in!

(lost your password? reset it here)

99nicu.org 99nicu.org
  • Blog Entries

    • By AllThingsNeonatal in All Things Neonatal
         2
      It has to be one of the most common questions you will hear uttered in the NICU.  What were the cord gases?  You have a sick infant in front of you and because we are human and like everything to fit into a nicely packaged box we feel a sense of relief when we are told the cord gases are indeed poor.  The congruence fits with our expectation and that makes us feel as if we understand how this baby in front of us looks the way they do.
      Take the following case though and think about how you feel after reading it.  A term infant is born after fetal distress (late deceleration to as low as 50 BPM) is noted on the fetal monitor.  The infant is born flat with no heart rate and after five minutes one is detected.  By this point the infant has received chest compressions and epinephrine twice via the endotracheal tube.  The cord gases are run as the baby is heading off to the NICU for admission and low and behold you get the following results back; pH 7.21, pCO2 61, HCO3 23, lactate 3.5.   You find yourself looking at the infant and scratching your head wondering how the baby in front of you that has left you moist with perspiration looks as bad as they do when the tried and true cord gas seems to be betraying you.  To make matters worse at one hour of age you get the following result back; pH 6.99, pCO2 55, HCO3 5, lactate 15.  Which do you believe?  Is there something wrong with the blood gas analyzer?
      How Common Is This Situation
      You seem to have an asphyxiated infant but the cord gas isn’t following what you expect as shouldn’t it be low due to the fetal distress that was clearly present?  It turns out, a normal or mildly abnormal cord gas may be found in asphyxiated infants just as commonly as what you might expect.  In 2012 Yeh P et al looked at this issue in their paper The relationship between umbilical cord arterial pH and serious adverse neonatal outcome: analysis of 51,519 consecutive validated samples. The authors sampled a very large number of babies over a near 20 year period to come up with a sample of 51519 babies and sought to pair the results with what they knew of the outcome for each baby. This is where things get interesting. 
      When looking at the outcome of encephalopathy with seizures and/or death you will note that only 21.71% of the babies with this outcome had a gas under 7.00.  If you include those under 7.10 as still being significantly distressed then this percentage rises to 34.21%.  In other words almost 66% of babies who have HIE with seizures and/or death have a arterial cord pH above 7.1!  The authors did not look at encephalopathy without seizures but these are the worst infants and almost 2/3 have a cord gas that you wouldn’t much as glance at and say “looks fine”
      How do we reconcile this?
      The answer lies in the fetal circulation.  When an fetus is severely stressed, anaerobic metabolism takes over and produces lactic acid and the metabolic acidosis that we come to expect.  For the metabolites to get to the umbilcal artery they must leave the fetal tissues and enter the circulation.  If the flow of blood through these tissues is quite poor in the setting of compromised myocardial contractility the acids sit in the tissues.  The blood that is therefore sitting in the cord at the time of sampling actually represents blood that was sent to the placenta “when times were good”.  When the baby is delivered and we do our job of resuscitating the circulation that is restored then drives the lactic acid into the blood stream and consumes the buffering HCO3 leading to the more typical gases we are accustomed to seeing and reestablishing the congruence our brains so desire.  This in fact forms the basis for most HIE protocols which includes a requirement of a cord gas OR arterial blood gas in the first hour of life with a pH < 7.00.
      Acidosis May Be Good For the Fetus
      To bend your mind just a little further, animal evidence suggests that those fetuses who develop acidosis may benefit from the same and be at an advantage over those infants who don’t get acidemia.  Laptook AR et al published Effects of lactic acid infusions and pH on cerebral blood flow and metabolism.  In this study of piglets, infusion of lactic acid improved cerebral blood flow.  I would suggest improvement in cerebral blood flow of the stressed fetus would be a good thing.  Additionally we know that lactate may be used by the fetus as additional metabolic fuel for the brain which under stress would be another benefit.  Finally the acidemic fetus is able to offload O2 to the tissues via the Bohr effect.  In case you have forgotten this phenomenon, it is the tendency for oxygen to more readily sever its tie to hemoglobin and move into the tissues.
      I hope you have found this as interesting as I have in writing it.  The next time you see a good cord gas in a depressed infant, pause for a few seconds and ask yourself is this really a good or a bad thing?
    • By Stefan Johansson in Department of Brilliant Ideas
         0
      We now have 13 confirmed speakers for the Copenhagen Meetup 7-10 April next year!
      Generally, we'll stick to the successful format we have had at the previous meetings: 45 min slots split into a 30 min lecture and a 15 min discussion. We'll continue to use the sli.do smartphone app to facilitate the discussion and allow every delegate to share questions and comments.
      In addition to the lecture program 7-9 April, we are also planning workhops and mini-symposia on the 10th of April. We'll share more info about those soonish, but if you want ONE cliff-hanger... we plan one symposium about the infant microbiome etc-etc  
      Confirmed topics and speakers
      Neonatal transports - safe and easy, Morten Breindahl (Sweden) Treating pain in neonates, Karel Allegaert (Belgium) How to improve quality on the NICU, Joseph Kaempf (US) Hyperglycemia - how to manage and why, Kathryn Beardsal (UK) Why we should rehearse simulated scenarios, Ruth Gottstein (UK) Go with the (high) flow, Brett Manley (Australia) News in the updated ESPGHAN guidelines, Nadja Haiden ( Austria) Prevention of BPD, Christian Poets (Germany) The many inotropes - what to use when, Yogen Singh (UK) Cord Clamping, 1.0 and 2.0, Ola Andersson (Sweden) When NEC rates persist , despite everything done “Right”, Ravi Patel (US) Outcomes in infants surviving at the limit of viability, Ulrika Ådén (Sweden) Ethical decision making around the limit of viability, Gorm Greisen (Denmark)
    • By AllThingsNeonatal in All Things Neonatal
         4
      One of the first things a student of any discipline caring for newborns is how to calculate the apgar score at birth.  Over 60 years ago Virginia Apgar created this score as a means of giving care providers a consistent snapshot of what an infant was like in the first minute then fifth and if needed 10, 15 and so on if resuscitation was ongoing.  For sure it has served a useful purpose as an apgar score of 0 and 0 gives one cause for real worry.  What about a baby with an apgar of 3 and 7 or 4 and 8?  There are certainly infants who have done very well who initially had low apgar scores and conversely those who had higher apgar scores who have had very significant deleterious outcomes including death.  I don’t mean to suggest that the apgar scores don’t provide any useful predictive value as they are used as part of the criteria to determine if a baby merits whole body cooling or not.  The question is though after 60+ years, has another score been created to provide similar information but enhance the predictive value derived from a score?
      The Neonatal Resuscitation and Adaptation Score (NRAS)
      Back in 2015 Jurdi et al published  Evaluation of a Comprehensive Delivery Room Neonatal Resuscitation and Adaptation Score (NRAS) Compared to the Apgar Score.  This new score added into a ten point score resuscitative actions taken at the 1 and 5 minute time points to create a more functional score that included interventions.  The other thing this new score addressed was more recent data that indicated a blue baby at birth is normal (which is why we have eliminated asking the question “is the baby pink?” in NRP.  Knowing that, the colour of the baby in the apgar score may not really be that relevant.  Take for example a baby with an apgar score of 3 at one minute who could have a HR over 100 and be limp, blue and with shallow breathing.  Such a baby might get a few positive pressure breaths and then within 10 seconds be breathing quite well and crying.  Conversely, they might be getting ongoing PPV for several minutes and need oxygen.  Were they also getting chest compressions?  If I only told you the apgar score you wouldn’t have much to go on.  Now look at the NRAS and compare the information gathered using two cardiovascular (C1&2), one neurological test (N1) and two respiratory assessments (R1&2).

       
      The authors in this study performed a pilot study on only on 17 patients really as a proof of concept that the score could be taught and implemented.  Providers reported both scores and found “superior interrater reliability (P < .001) and respiratory component reliability (P < .001) for all gestational ages compared to the Apgar score.”
       
      A Bigger Study Was Needed
      The same group in 2018 this time led by Witcher published Neonatal Resuscitation and Adaptation Score vs Apgar: newborn assessment and predictive ability.  The primary outcome was the ability of a low score to predict mortality with a study design that was a non-inferiority trial.  All attended deliveries were meant to have both scores done but due to limited numbers of trained personnel who could appropriately administer both scores just under 90% of the total deliveries were assigned scores for comparison.  The authors sought to recruit 450 infants to show that a low NRAS score (0–3) would not be inferior to a similar Apgar at predicting death.  Interestingly an interim analysis found the NRAS to be superior to Apgar when 75.5% of the 450 were enrolled, so the study was stopped.  What led the apgar score to perform poorly in predicting mortality (there were only 12 deaths though in the cohort) was the fact that 49 patients with a 1 minute apgar score of 0-3 survived compared to only 7 infants with a low NRAS score.
      The other interesting finding was the ability of the NRAS to predict the need for respiratory support at 48 hours with a one minute apgar score of 0-3 being found in 39% of those on support compared to 100% of those with a low NRAS.  Also at 5 minutes a score of 4-6 for the apgar was found in 48% of those with respiratory support at 48 hours vs 87% of those with a similar range NRAS.  These findings were statistically significant while a host of other conditions such as sepsis, hypoglycemia, hypothermia and others were no different in terms of predictive ability of the scores.
      An Even Bigger Study is Needed
      To be sure, this study is still small and missed just over 90% of all deliveries so it is possible there is some bias that is not being detected here.  I do think there is something here though which a bigger study that has an army of people equipped to provide the scoring will add to this ongoing story.  Every practitioner who resuscitates an infant is asked at some point in those first minutes to hour “will my baby be ok?”.  The truth is that the apgar score has never lived up to the hope that it would help us provide an accurate clairvoyant picture of what lies ahead for an infant.   Where this score gives me hope is that a score which would at the very least help me predict whether an infant would likely still be needing respiratory support in 48 hours provides the basic answer to the most common question we get in the unit once admitted; “when can I take my baby home”.  Using this score I could respond with some greater confidence in saying “I think your infant will be on support for at least 48 hours”.  The bigger question though which thankfully we don’t have to address too often for the sickest babies at birth is “will my baby survive?”.  If a larger study demonstrates this score to provide a greater degree of accuracy then the “Tipping Point” might just be that to switching over to the NRAS and leaving the apgar score behind.  That will never happen overnight but medicine is always evolving and with time you the reader may find yourself becoming very familiar with this score!
    • By Jelli KA in Bubbly Girl in NICU
         3
      Excited for my first speaker oportunity to a peds audience.We a small group of about 20 I did expect a litlle more. The good Things and not so good that needed improving here.
      The conference wad set to be the first consist of primary care topics & community health. The second was solid peads with a special section of neonatology talks in the afternoon. The was also a poster competition in the mix.
      Lets start with the good I really enjoyed the networking oportunity over a nice healthy lunch with people. We happened most to NICU peps of bar various multidisciplinary backgrounds so we got talking about developmental outcomes of preemie at several stages. Thus we able to cross pollinate with ideas. The were several talk that were really relevant to my posdoc expecially organisation:community health better and those that NICU ones .The most thought provoking one was the method of management explained by the Arizona Prof. McGrath ,developmental psychologist working NICU on neonatal abtinense sindrome: how they reduced the stay to about weekish-ten days reduced the used of morphine derivates. Other talk were little lenghty.
          Personal I manage to give my talk to the small peds audience. I was a tad nervous but manage to give a somewhat seamless talk summary a few points as it overlap with the previous talk on the golden hour on my work in ethics in NLS  and generate some debate with those in room.
      I glad that my hotel was close by 10 walks away. A bonus on get macarons for mum on way back at the airport at Orly.
      On the otherhand, the organization of the event needed improving as it was a bit ad hoc from my experience organising .We totally underestimated how far it would be from the airports CDG and Orly : +2 hours using a mix public transport , I used my trusty app citymapper to get there.The conference site was a cute Holiday Inn @ Noisy le Grand, subburds well outside Paris .
       


    • By Stefan Johansson in Department of Brilliant Ideas
         0
      I just want to share some brief news about our next Meetup, 7-10 April 2019 at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen/Denmark.
      We (i.e myself, @Francesco Cardona @RasmusR @Christian Heiring , Gorm Greisen and Morten Breindahl) are currently working on the program lectures and workshops.
      I just want to share the first five confirmed speakers and their topics:
      Morten Breindahl: Neonatal transports – how to do them safe and easy Ola Andersson: Cord Clamping, 1.0 and 2.0 Ravi Patel: How to explain when NEC rates persist – even when a NICU does everything “Right” Ulrika Ådén: Infants surviving at the limit of viability, what are the outcomes? What shall we do? Gorm Greisen: Ethical decision making around the limit of viability- lessons from Scandinavia I'll update you all with more names and topics as they are confirmed
      Looking forward to meet up in Copenhagen!
  • Upcoming Events

    • 30 October 2018 Until 03 November 2018
      0  
      7th Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Societies (EAPS 2018) 
      Click here for more info: http://www.eaps.kenes.com/2018
       
    • 07 November 2018 08:00 PM Until 09 November 2018 08:00 PM
      0  
      Scientific Program .pdf
    • 14 November 2018 Until 17 November 2018
      0  
      The XII International Conference on Kangaroo Mother Care will take place 14-17 November 2018, in Bogota, Columbia.
      The workshop (November 14-15, 2018), for about 300 participants working on KMC implementation at country level. The objective is to present, discuss in detail and share experiences that will lead to a better understanding of the difficulties and needs for KMC implementation at country level.
      The congress (November, 16-17, 2018), in which we expect 400 participants, will focus on neuro-protection of the brain of the premature and LBW infant through KMC. We will invite speakers and discussants for keynote lectures, symposia and panel discussions on this topic. There will also be a call for abstracts and among the accepted ones; the Scientific Committee will select some for oral as well as poster presentations.
      See the web site for more information: http://www.inkmc.net/
    • 17 November 2018
      1  
      The 17th of November each year is the World Prematurity Day. Originally started by parent organisations in Europe in 2008, the World Prematurity Day is an international event aiming at high-lighting the ~15 million infants born preterm each year.
      Read more about this day on the March of Dimes web site, and on Facebook.
    • 19 November 2018 Until 23 November 2018
      0  
      Come to the Neonatal Update 2018, 19-23 November 2018.
      This annual 5 day international meeting has grown to become one of the largest annual speciality meetings in neonatal medicine. As a forum for the discussion of state of the art clinical practice and new research, it attracts senior neonatal and paediatric clinicians from around the world.
      The Neonatal Update 2018 will be held at BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JP. It is a grade II listed building which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, and has been the home to the British Medical Association since 1925. It is conveniently located only a few minutes’ walk from Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston and Russell Square stations, providing easy access around London, the rest of the UK and with Europe via Eurostar.
      Find more info on this URL: https://www.symposia.org.uk/neonatal/home.html
    • 31 January 2019 Until 01 February 2019
      0  
      Check this course out, 31/1-1/2 2019.
      Click on the topic below to get all info about the course, incl the registration link.
       
       


×