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In spite of a difficult environment throughout 2020, the Newborn Research Centre remains as productive as ever. The year saw the completion of the groundbreaking Optimist trial which will clarify the place of minimally invasive surfactant therapy (MIST) for extremely preterm infants managed on CPAP. Together with our colleagues from Monash Medical Centre we have monitored the introduction of MIST into daily practice (Roberts et al, below), revealing some practical issues influencing the success or failure of the technique.

Similarly, Dr Liz Baker has shown that administering stem cells to preterm infants is not as straightforward as many believed. Her review article (Baker et al, below) documents the hope for high-risk preterm infants offered by this novel intervention as well as the practical challenges which are still to be addressed.

Some of the influential 81 articles published by the centre in 2020 include:

  • Baker EK, Jacobs SE, Lim R, Wallace EM, Davis PG. Cell therapy for the preterm infant: promise and practicalities. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2020 Sep;105(5):563-568. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2019-317896. Epub 2020 Apr 6. PMID: 32253200.
  • Roberts CT, Halibullah I, Bhatia R, Green EA, Kamlin COF, Davis PG, Manley BJ. Outcomes after Introduction of Minimally Invasive Surfactant Therapy in Two Australian Tertiary Neonatal Units. J Pediatr. 2021 Feb;229:141-146. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.10.025. Epub 2020 Oct 14. PMID: 33068569.
  • Prentice TM, Gillam L, Janvier A, Davis PG. How should neonatal clinicians act in the presence of moral distress? Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2020 Jul;105(4):348-349. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2019-317895. Epub 2020 Jan 22. PMID: 31969459.
  • Treyvaud K, Thompson DK, Kelly CE, Loh WY, Inder TE, Cheong JLY, Doyle LW, Anderson PJ. Early parenting is associated with the developing brains of children born very preterm. Clin Neuropsychol. 2020 Aug 31:1-19. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2020.1811895. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32865142.
  • Bjorland PA, Ersdal HL, Eilevstjønn J, Øymar K, Davis PG, Rettedal SI. Changes in heart rate from 5 s to 5 min after birth in vaginally delivered term newborns with delayed cord clamping. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2020 Nov 10:fetalneonatal-2020-320179. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-320179. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33172876.