Perinatology, which involves the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the mother, fetus and newborn during high-risk pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum period, is one of the most rapidly evolving fields in medicine. Perinatal research is investigating a variety of issues, including fetal gene and stem cell therapy in the hope of providing early treatment for genetic disorders, the prevention of pre-eclampsia, low birth weight and infant mortality.
- Of the more than 82,000 babies born in a average week in the US, nearly 11,000 are preterm, with almost 7,000 born with low birthweight.
- In 2006, birth defects accounted for about one in five American infant deaths.
- There has been no improvement in the infant death rate since 2000.
- There is growing recognition that prenatal factors affecting the baby before birth can lead to a variety of childhood and adult conditions like obesity and diabetes.
At Winthrop-University Hospital research in this field includes studies of fetal origins of adult disease and the pathogenesis and etiology of various adverse pregnancy outcomes, including fetal growth restriction, pregnancy loss, prematurity and stillbirth.
WUH Researchers' Study:
- effects of maternal exposure to environmental toxins on the fetus.
- the role of progesterone and prostaglandins in regulating the production of placenta cytokines
- the role of COX-2 inhibitors in preventing preterm labor
- intracervical immunity and its contribution to perinatal disease processes
- Effects of oxidant injury in premature neonates on Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Retinopathy Of Prematurity and Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Use of NIRS to measure blood flow changes in the neonatal brain.
- Prevention of Kernicterus in the newborn.
- Mechanisms in controlling maternal immunity in the uterus to ensure fetal survival.
- Labor mechanisms that lead to premature births