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- Hydrocortisone may not benefit very premature infants. Ventilator-dependent babies born very preterm who were given systemic hydrocortisone therapy had similar rates of primary composite outcome of mortality or bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age compared with those who received placebo, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings showed significantly reduced odds of mortality at 36 weeks' PMA as an individual outcome among those in the hydrocortisone group, but the difference was no longer statistically significant at hospital discharge.
- Modified pig hearts could save human infants, study suggests. A study presented at a Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting indicated that the use of genetically modified pig hearts could ease a critical shortage of donor organs for infants in need of a heart transplant. Scientists exposed blood samples of infants to pig cells that had been modified to knock out three genes that play a role in prompting an immune response in transplant recipients, and the immune reactivity was "almost zero."
- Survival, impairment among extreme preemies examined. Very few babies overall born at 22 weeks' gestation survive, but 24% of those born alive at 22 weeks who are admitted to the NICU survive, compared with 82% of infants born at 27 weeks' gestation who survive, and 90% for those born at 27 weeks who go to the NICU, according to a study in Pediatrics. The findings, based on data from 65 studies, also showed survival without severe impairments among 1.2% of those born alive at 22 weeks, compared with 64% of those born at 27 weeks.