A new neurological focus in neonatal intensive care.

Department of Pediatrics, UCSF School of Medicine, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Box 0410, 513 Parnassus Avenue, S211, San Francisco, CA 94143-0410, USA.
Nature Reviews Neurology (Impact Factor: 15.52). 08/2011; 7(9):485-94. DOI: 10.1038/nrneurol.2011.119
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Advances in the care of high-risk newborn babies have contributed to reduced mortality rates for premature and term births, but the surviving neonates often have increased neurological morbidity. Therapies aimed at reducing the neurological sequelae of birth asphyxia at term have brought hypothermia treatment into the realm of standard care. However, this therapy does not provide complete protection from neurological complications and a need to develop adjunctive therapies for improved neurological outcomes remains. In addition, the care of neurologically impaired neonates, regardless of their gestational age, clearly requires a focused approach to avoid further injury to the brain and to optimize the neurodevelopmental status of the newborn baby at discharge from hospital. This focused approach includes, but is not limited to, monitoring of the patient's brain with amplitude-integrated and continuous video EEG, prevention of infection, developmentally appropriate care, and family support. Provision of dedicated neurocritical care to newborn babies requires a collaborative effort between neonatologists and neurologists, training in neonatal neurology for nurses and future generations of care providers, and the recognition that common neonatal medical problems and intensive care have an effect on the developing brain.

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