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The aim of this project is to determine the epidemiology of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and incidence of subsequent permanent neurological sequelae in a high HIV prevalent setting in Soweto, Johannesburg. A cross-sectional study will be conducted on mother-infant pairs, screening mothers for CMV infection and newborns for congenital CMV infection. Maternal CMV prevalence will be determined by testing for CMV specific antibodies in blood. Newborn congenital infection will be determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on newborn saliva and urine within 3 weeks of birth. Various risk factors associated with congenital CMV such as HIV exposure, and gestational age will be assessed. The association between maternal vaginal CMV shedding postnatally with congenital CMV infection will be explored by swabbing maternal vaginal fluid and conducting quantitative CMV PCR analysis. Newborns confirmed with congenital CMV and a control group of uninfected newborns will form a cohort to be followed up until 12 months of age monitoring for various neurological sequelae such as hearing loss, neurodevelopmental impairment, ocular damage, cerebral damage and seizures. A comparison of vaccine immune responses between cases of congenital CMV and the CMV uninfected infants to the primary series of vaccines in the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation will be compared. The contribution of CMV infection to neonatal death and stillbirths will be described by minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS) for CMV on babies that die during the neonatal period and stillbirths.
Fetal growth restriction during pregnancy represents one of the biggest risk factors for stillbirth (Gardosi et al, 2013), with 'about one in three term, normally formed antepartum stillbirths are related to abnormalities of fetal growth' (MBRRACE, 2015). Therefore, antenatal detection of growth restricted babies is vital in order to be able to monitor and decide the appropriate delivery timing. However, antenatal detection of SGA babies has been poor, varying greatly across trusts in England in those that calculate their rates (NHS England, 2016). Most trusts do not calculate their detection rates and rates are therefore unknown. It is estimated that routine NHS care detects only 1 in 4 growth restricted babies (Smith, 2015). Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) has introduced a clinical care pathway (the Oxford Growth Restriction Pathway (OxGRIP)) designed to increase the rates of detection of these at risk babies. The pathway is intended to increase the identification of babies who are at risk of stillbirth, in order to try to prevent this outcome, whilst making best usage of resources, and restricting inequitable practice and unnecessary obstetric intervention. It has been developed with reference to a body of research, however, the individual parts of care provided have not been put together in a pathway in this manner before. Therefore it is important to examine whether the pathway meets its goals of improving outcomes for babies in a 'real world' setting. The principles of the pathway are 1. A universal routine scan at 36 weeks gestation. 2. Additional growth scans at 28 and 32 weeks gestation based on a simplified assessment of risk factors and universal uterine artery Doppler at 20 weeks gestation. 3. Assessment of further parameters other than estimated fetal weight associated with adverse perinatal outcome (eg growth velocity, umbilical artery Doppler and CPR). The clinical data routinely collected as a result of the introduction of the pathway offers a valuable and unique resource in identifying and analysing in the effects of the pathway on its intended outcomes and also in investigating and analysing other maternal, fetal and neonatal complications and outcomes, establishing normal / reference ranges for ultrasound values.
A single site observational study aiming to: (i) Identify cases of previously undiagnosed thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and atypical haemolytic syndrome (aHUS) in a cohort of women with complicated pregnancies (ii) Characterise the clinical features of these cases and (ii) Identify clinical features or biomarkers which may help distinguish TTP/aHUS from other complications of pregnancy such as preeclampsia
Bemiparin for pregnant women with abnormal umbilical artery Doppler ultrasound
One of the most important downsides of endoscopic surgery is the need to remove surgical specimens of different sizes through very small incisions. This step should ensure the complete retrieval of the surgical specimen with concomitant preservation of its integrity (if possible) in order to avoid intraabdominal contamination of potentially infected or malignant tissues. Possibilities for specimen extraction during laparoscopy include minilaparotomy, enlargement of an ancillary port, transumbilical extraction, and transvaginal extraction through posterior colpotomy. Although recent evidence has already suggested that transvaginal extraction through posterior colpotomy is a safe and feasible option, to date there are no published data about obstetric outcomes after this procedure. For this reason, the current study aims to evaluate obstetric outcomes between women that underwent transvaginal specimen extraction through posterior colpotomy and women who did not.
Preterm birth is a major cause of child mortality and morbidity, most of which occurs in south-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. To date few neonatal cause of death studies, especially in low- and middle-income countries have determined the specific causes of preterm death, instead attributing all neonatal deaths of infants born at less than 37 weeks to prematurity. Infections are responsible for a large proportion of these deaths but because of complexity and costs associated with testing, little is known about the prevalence of infection-related deaths in preterm infants or the specific pathogens associated with mortality. The primary objective of this study is to determine the cause of deaths among preterm births and stillbirths. Secondary outcomes include determining the specific pathogens responsible for infection-related deaths, potential preventability of these deaths and interventions which may reduce mortality. One site in India and one in Pakistan will include a total sample size of 700 (350 stillbirths and 350 preterm neonatal deaths) for 1,400 cases to be included in the cause of death analyses. All women who deliver a preterm birth or a stillbirth at the study hospitals will be eligible for inclusion. Among those who consent, an obstetric history, clinical obstetric and (if applicable) neonatal care will be collected as well as research investigations including ultrasound, x-ray, microbiology and minimally invasive tissue sampling and autopsy will be collected. This study will align with other efforts to determine cause of death among infants and children and ultimately the results will inform future interventions to reduce neonatal mortality and stillbirth. The researchers emphasize that this study, with its focus on preterm neonatal mortality and stillbirth, will provide information not available elsewhere.
The aim of the study is to evaluate a health workforce capacity building and quality improvement intervention focused on integrated day-of-birth and post-pregnancy care at 16 hospitals in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The intervention package consists of a low-dose, high-frequency (LDHF) training of health workers, support for quality improvement teams, and provision of critical equipment, supplies and drugs within a quality improvement (QI) framework.
This study assesses the effect of a low-dose, high-frequency training approach on long-term evidence-based skill retention among skilled birth attendants and impact on adverse birth outcomes at hospitals in Ghana.
The study is a multicentre evaluation of maternity care delivered through the Saving Babies' Lives care bundle using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The study will be conducted in twenty NHS Hospital Trusts from six NHS Strategic Clinical Networks totalling approximately 100,000 births. It involves participation by both service users and care providers. To determine the impact of the care bundle on pregnancy outcomes, birth data and other clinical measures will be extracted from maternity databases and case-note audit from before and after implementation. Additionally, this study will employ questionnaires with organisational leads and review clinical guidelines to assess how resources, leadership and governance may affect implementation in diverse hospital settings. The cost of implementing the care bundle, and the cost per stillbirth avoided, will also be estimated as part of a health economic analysis. The views and experiences of service users and service providers towards maternity care in relation to the care bundle will be also be sought using questionnaires. This study will provide practice-based evidence to advance knowledge about the processes that underpin successful implementation of the care bundle so that it can be further developed and refined. This has the potential to translate into substantial improvements in the rate of late stillbirth in the UK should the care bundle be proved effective.
The University Hospital Advanced Age Pregnant (UNIHOPE) Cohort is the major part of the National Key Research and Development Program on Reproductive Health & Major Birth Defects Control and Prevention Project, which is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. The Project is led by Prof. Zhao Yangyu, from the Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Peking University Third Hospital, and the UNIHOPE cohort is led by Prof. Jian-meng Liu, the Co-PI of the Project.