Even though in the corporate world psychological science has been widely used, the formal use of evidence-based psychology in important areas of clinical medicine has been scanty at best. It was the aim of this study to determine the efficacy of a psychologist-led 2-week nurse educator training on the infection rate in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Birth defects or congenital anomalies are one of the major causes of disability in developed and developing countries. Data on birth defects from population-based studies originating from developing countries are lacking. Increasingly, there is a shift to genetic testing and genomics study of birth defects. However, the translation from bench findings to bedside medicine has been muted. There is a need to address this imbalance where congenital anomalies remained the top etiology for neonatal mortality in developing countries. To build capacity in low resource countries, there is a need for accurate collection and ascertainment of birth defects in developing countries. The systematic collection and analysis of data on major birth defects using birth defects registries (BDRs) are an integral part of all clinical genetic services. Healthcare planners in developing countries must be aware of the advantages and limitations of BDRs. Despite the advent of the genomics era, BDRs are essential to the planning and developing care and prevention services at local and national levels, particularly in low resource or developing countries.
Pneumonia is the greatest contributor to childhood mortality and morbidity in resource-poor regions, while in high-income countries it is one of the most common reasons for clinic attendance and hospitalization in this age group. Furthermore, pneumonia in children increases the risk of developing chronic pulmonary disorders in later adult life. While substantial advances in managing childhood pneumonia have been made, many issues remain, some of which are highlighted in this perspective. Multiple studies are required as many factors that influence outcomes, such as etiology, patient characteristics, and prevention strategies can vary between and within countries and regions. Also, outside of vaccine studies, most randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on pneumonia have been based in resource-poor countries where the primary aim is usually prevention of mortality. Few RCTs have focused on medium to long-term outcomes or prevention. We propose different tiers of primary outcomes, where in resource-rich countries medium to long-term sequelae should also be included and not just the length of hospitalization and readmission rates.
Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) in pediatric cardiac surgery is generally performed with hypothermia, flow reduction and hemodilution. From October 2013 to December 2014, 55 patients, median age 6 years (range 2 months to 52 years), median weight 18.5 kg (range 3.2-57 kg), underwent surgery with normothermic high flow CPB in a new unit. There were no early or late deaths. Fifty patients (90.9%) were extubated within 3 h, 3 (5.5%) within 24 h, and 2 (3.6%) within 48 h. Twenty-four patients (43.6%) did not require inotropic support, 31 (56.4%) received dopamine or dobutamine: 21 ≤5 mcg/kg/min, 8 5-10 mcg/kg/min, and 2 >10 mcg/kg/min. Two patients (6.5%) required noradrenaline 0.05-0.1 mcg/kg/min. On arrival to ICU and after 3 and 6 h and 8:00 a.m. the next morning, mean lactate levels were 1.9 ± 09, 2.0 ± 1.2, 1.6 ± 0.8, and 1.4 ± 0.7 mmol/L (0.6-5.2 mmol/L), respectively. From arrival to ICU to 8:00 a.m. the next morning mean urine output was 3.8 ± 1.5 mL/kg/h (0.7-7.6 mL/kg/h), and mean chest drainage was 0.6 ± 0.5 mL/kg/h (0.1-2.3 mL/kg/h). Mean ICU and hospital stay were 2.7 ± 1.4 days (2-8 days) and 7.2 ± 2.2 days (4-15 days), respectively. In conclusion, normothermic high flow CPB allows pediatric and congenital heart surgery with favorable outcomes even in a new unit. The immediate post-operative period is characterized by low requirement for inotropic and respiratory support, low lactate production, adequate urine output, minimal drainage from the chest drains, short ICU, and hospital stay.
Within the last few decades the pre-natal echocardiographic diagnosis of congenital heart defects has made substantial progresses, particularly for the identification of complex malformation. "Functionally" univentricular hearts categorize a huge variety of heart malformations. Since no one of the patients with these congenital heart defects can ever undergo a bi-ventricular type of repair, early recognition and decision-making from the neonatal period are required in order to allow for appropriate multiple-step diagnostic and treatment procedures, either of interventional cardiology and/or surgery, on the pathway of "univentricular" heart. In the literature strong disagreements exist about the potential impact of the pre-natal diagnosis on the early and late outcomes of complex congenital heart defects. This review of the recent reports has been undertaken to better understand the impact of pre-natal diagnosis in "functionally" univentricular hearts taking into consideration the following topics: pre-natal screening, outcomes and survival, general morbidity, neurologic and developmental consequences, pregnancy management and delivery planning, resources utilization and costs/benefits issues, ethical implications, parents counseling, and interruption of pregnancy versus treatment.
Isoflavones are dietary phytoestrogens commonly found in soy-based products. The widespread presence of isoflavones in soy infant formula and breast milk may have long-lasting effects on the development of sex hormone-sensitive organs like the skeleton. Animal early-life programming models are suitable for testing the skeletal effects of pre- and neonatal exposure of soy isoflavones. This review aims to collate the impacts of early-life exposure of soy isoflavones as evidenced in animal models. The isoflavones previously studied include daidzein, genistein, or a combination of both. They were administered to rodent pups during the first few days postnatal, but prolonged exposure had also been studied. The skeletal effects were observed when the animals reached sexual maturity or after castration to induce bone loss. In general, neonatal exposure to soy isoflavones exerted beneficial effects on the skeletal system of female rodents, but the effects on male rodents seem to depend on the time of exposure and require further examinations. It might also protect the animals against bone loss due to ovariectomy at adulthood but not upon orchidectomy. The potential benefits of isoflavones on the skeletal system should be interpreted together with its non-skeletal effects in the assessment of its safety and impacts.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) can be derived from various tissue sources, such as the bone marrow (BMSCs), adipose tissue (ADSCs), umbilical cord (UC-MSCs) and umbilical cord blood (UCB-MSCs). Clinical trials have been conducted to investigate the potential of MSCs in ameliorating neonatal diseases, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). In preclinical studies, MSC therapy has been tested for the treatment of various neonatal diseases affecting the heart, eye, gut, and brain as well as sepsis. Up to date, the number of clinical trials using MSCs to treat neonatal diseases is still limited. The data reported thus far positioned MSC therapy as safe with positive outcomes. However, most of these trials are still preliminary and generally smaller in scale. Larger trials with more appropriate controls and a longer follow-up period need to be conducted to prove the safety and efficacy of the therapy more conclusively. This review discusses the current application of MSCs in treating neonatal diseases, its mechanism of action and future direction of this novel therapy, including the potential of using MSC-derived extracellular vesicles instead of the cells to treat various clinical conditions in the newborn.
Background: Eye exam for Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a painful procedure and pharmacological analgesia might be ineffective. We hypothesized that magnetic auricular acupuncture (MAA) compared to placebo will decrease pain during ROP exam in preterm infants. Methods: Multicentre randomized controlled trial conducted in three hospitals (Australia, Canada, and Malaysia). Eligibility: >32 weeks, ROP exam, not sedated, and parental consent. A total of 100 infants were randomized (1:1) to MAA (n = 50) or placebo (n = 50). MAA stickers or placebo were placed on both ears by an unblinded investigator. Pain was assessed using the Premature Infant Pain Profile. Primary analyses were by intention-to-treat. ClinicalTrials.gov:NCT03650621. Findings: The mean (standard deviation, SD) gestation, birthweight, and postnatal age were (MAA 28(3) vs. placebo 28(2) weeks; MAA 1,057(455) vs. placebo 952(273) g; MAA 7(3) vs. placebo 7(3) weeks. Placebo infants had significantly higher PIPP scores during [mean difference 1.6 points (95%CI 0.1-3.1)] and 1 h mean difference 1.5 points (95%CI 0.7-2.2) after the procedure (p < 0.03). Heart rate was lower (173(22) vs. 184(18)/min) and oxygen saturations were higher (93.8(6.2) vs. 91.7(6.1)%, p = 0.05) in MAA infants. No adverse effects. Interpretation: MAA may reduce physiological pain responses during and after ROP exam in preterm infants. Assessment of long-term effects are warranted. Clinical trial registration: www.ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT03650621.
Nephrotic syndrome affects both children and adults. Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome is reported to be one of the most frequent renal pathologies in childhood. Nephrotic children are at high risk for severe pneumococcal infections as one of the life-threatening complications of nephrotic syndrome due to involvement of the immunosuppressive regimen and the acquired immune deficiency induced by nephrotic syndrome including decreased plasma IgG and low complement system components. Aiming to prevent pneumococcal infection is of paramount importance especially in this era of ever-increasing pneumococcal resistance to penicillins and cephalosporins. The pneumococcal vaccines currently available are inactivated vaccines-the two main forms in use are polysaccharide vaccines and conjugated vaccines. However, the data supporting the use of these vaccines and to guide the timing and dosage recommendations is still limited for nephrotic children. Thus, this review discusses the evidences of immunogenicity and safety profile of both vaccinations on nephrotic patients as well as the effect of nephrotic syndrome treatment on vaccine seroresponses.
Simulation-based education (SBE) is increasingly used as an education tool to improve learning for healthcare providers. In newborn care practice, SBE is used in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) and training in procedural skills. The NRP is a mandatory course in Malaysia for all house officers (interns) and medical officers (residents) during their pediatric rotation. Almost 30,000 of NRP providers have been trained over the last 5 years. The recent establishment of the Allied Healthcare Center of Excellence (AHCoE), an organization dedicated to promoting SBE, and Malaysian Society for Simulation in Healthcare (MaSSH) aims to enhance the integration of SBE into the healthcare training curriculum and set up a local healthcare simulation educator training program. Our experience in implementing SBE necessitated that we made several important choices. As there was no strong evidence to favor high-fidelity over low-fidelity simulation, and because simulation centers can be very costly to set up with limited resources, we chose SBE mainly in the form of low-fidelity and in situ simulation. We also identified an important developmental goal to train Malaysian instructors on structured debriefing, a critical activity for learning in SBE. Currently, debriefing is often carried out in our centers at an ad hoc basis because of time limitation and the lack of personnel trained. Finally, we aim to implement SBE further in Malaysia, with two axes: (1) the credentialing and recertification of physicians and nurses, and (2) the education of lay caregivers of high-risk infants before discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a devastating lung disorder of preterm infants as a result of an aberrant reparative response following exposures to various antenatal and postnatal insults. Despite sophisticated medical treatment in this modern era, the incidence of BPD remains unabated. The current strategies to prevent and treat BPD have met with limited success. The emergence of stem cell therapy may be a potential breakthrough in mitigating this complex chronic lung disorder. Over the last two decades, the human placenta and umbilical cord have gained increasing attention as a highly potential source of stem cells. Placenta-derived stem cells (PDSCs) and umbilical cord-derived stem cells (UCDSCs) display several advantages such as immune tolerance and are generally devoid of ethical constraints, in addition to their stemness qualities. They possess the characteristics of both embryonic and mesenchymal stromal/stem cells. Recently, there are many preclinical studies investigating the use of these cells as therapeutic agents in neonatal disease models for clinical applications. In this review, we describe the preclinical and clinical studies using PDSCs and UCDSCs as treatment in animal models of BPD. The source of these stem cells, routes of administration, and effects on immunomodulation, inflammation and regeneration in the injured lung are also discussed. Lastly, a brief description summarized the completed and ongoing clinical trials using PDSCs and UCDSCs as therapeutic agents in preventing or treating BPD. Due to the complexity of BPD, the development of a safe and efficient therapeutic agent remains a major challenge to both clinicians and researchers.
Hereditary or developmental neurological disorders (HNDs or DNDs) affect the quality of life and contribute to the high mortality rates among neonates. Most HNDs are incurable, and the search for new and effective treatments is hampered by challenges peculiar to the human brain, which is guarded by the near-impervious blood-brain barrier. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR), a gene-editing tool repurposed from bacterial defense systems against viruses, has been touted by some as a panacea for genetic diseases. CRISPR has expedited the research into HNDs, enabling the generation of in vitro and in vivo models to simulate the changes in human physiology caused by genetic variation. In this review, we describe the basic principles and workings of CRISPR and the modifications that have been made to broaden its applications. Then, we review important CRISPR-based studies that have opened new doors to the treatment of HNDs such as fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome. We also discuss how CRISPR can be used to generate research models to examine the effects of genetic variation and caffeine therapy on the developing brain. Several drawbacks of CRISPR may preclude its use at the clinics, particularly the vulnerability of neuronal cells to the adverse effect of gene editing, and the inefficiency of CRISPR delivery into the brain. In concluding the review, we offer some suggestions for enhancing the gene-editing efficacy of CRISPR and how it may be morphed into safe and effective therapy for HNDs and other brain disorders.
Introduction: Prevalence of obesity in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been reported to be higher than in the general population. Determining prevalence may help increase awareness of obesity in ASD and potentially lead to initiatives to reduce obesity. In order to understand obesity in ASD children, common risk factors were assessed including physical activity, feeding problems and sleep disturbances. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study performed at the Child Development Center at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center on 151 ASD children aged 2-18 years. Anthropometric and demographic information were obtained and parents completed three questionnaires; Children Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), Physical Activity for Older Children Questionnaire (PAQ-C) and Brief Autism Mealtime Behavior Questionnaire (BAMBI). Results: For ASD children in our sample, the prevalence of overweight (BMI ≥85th to <95th percentiles) was 11.3% and the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile) was 21.9%. The overweight/obese ASD children's median age was higher at 8.5 years (IQR 5.81-10.13) compared to the normal/underweight group of 6.33 years (IQR 4.75-7.7) with a p-value of 0.001. The two groups also differed significantly for maternal BMI and paternal age. The median maternal BMI in the overweight/obese group was 26.05 (IQR 23.35-32.25), statistically significantly higher (p = 0.003) than in the non-overweight/obese group, 24.7 (IQR 21-27.9). The median paternal age of 40 years (IQR 37-44) was statistically significantly higher (p = 0.039) in the overweight/obese group, compared to the median paternal age in the non-overweight/obese group of 38 (IQR 35-42). The male overweight/obese children had median PAQ-C score of 2.44 (IQR 2.00-3.00) vs. 2.89 (IQR 2.35-3.53) in the counterpart group with a p-value of 0.01. Using the multiple linear regression stepwise method, three predictors associated with BMI percentiles reached a statistical level of significance; PAQ-C score in males (p < 0.001), the BAMBI domains of Food Refusal (p = 0.001) and Limited Variety of Food (p = 0.001). Conclusions: The prevalence of obesity and overweight is high among Malaysian ASD children and adolescents. Older child age, high maternal BMI, older paternal age, low physical activity, low likelihood of food refusal and high likelihood of food selectivity were found to be risk factors for high BMI in these children.
Background: Girls born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia have virilized external genitalia. There is considerable debate regarding both the outcomes of feminizing genitoplasty and timing of the surgery in this population. Objective: To investigate outcomes of females 46,XX individuals with CAH in Malaysia, the surgical outcomes of feminizing genitoplasty (FG) and their attitudes toward surgery. Study Design: This is a cross-sectional study involving the two main tertiary centers in Malaysia. All 46,XX patients with CAH and raised female, who had undergone FG were identified and invited to participate. Data on socio-demographic, medical profiles, and attitudes toward surgery were collected. A standardized evaluation of the external genitalia was undertaken including the anatomic and cosmetic evaluation by independent gynecologists. Results: Of 61 individuals identified, 59 participated-consisting of children (n = 12), adolescents (n = 29) and adults (n = 18). All but one had classical CAH (98.3%) and had undergone FG (n = 55, 93.2%) with surgery mostly undertaken by pediatric surgeons trained in DSD work (n = 44, 74.6%). Complications overall were low (20.3%), with repeat surgery rate of 9.1%. External genital examination was performed in 38 participants. Overall 36.8% had absent clitoral glands and 39.5% had a persistent urogenital sinus and in 10.5%, no vaginal orifices were seen. Poor cosmetic outcomes were present in 42.1% with 55.3% recommended for further assessment under general anesthetic. Almost half participants did not venture an opinion on FG, those who did varied from having a positive attitude toward it (18 participants) to 3 opining that it should not be done, or avoided or delayed. From the participants, 35.5% preferred FG to be done early in life compared to 44.0% of the parents. Conclusions: The reoperation rates of the feminizing genitoplasty surgeries were low however due to the anatomic and cosmetic outcomes, reassessment of the external genitalia of these CAH patients may be required once they consider becoming sexually active as they may require further treatment. Many factors such as cultural sensitivities and access to medical treatment and late diagnoses have an impact on attitudes toward FG.
Background: Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is increased in the amniotic fluid in chorioamnionitis and elevated in the fetal lung with endotoxin exposure. Although GM-CSF has a pivotal role in fetal lung development, it stimulates pulmonary macrophages and is associated with the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). How antenatal GM-CSF results in recruitment of lung macrophage leading to BPD needs further elucidation. Hence, we used a transgenic and knock-out mouse model to study the effects of GM-CSF focusing on the fetal lung macrophage. Methods: Using bitransgenic (BTg) mice that conditionally over-expressed pulmonary GM-CSF after doxycycline treatment, and GM-CSF knock-out (KO) mice with no GM-CSF expression, we compared the ontogeny and immunophenotype of lung macrophages in BTg, KO and control mice at various prenatal and postnatal time points using flow cytometry and immunohistology. Results: During fetal life, compared to controls, BTg mice over-expressing pulmonary GM-CSF had increased numbers of lung macrophages that were CD68+ and these were primarily located in the interstitium rather than alveolar spaces. The lung macrophages that accumulated were predominantly CD11b+F4/80+ indicating immature macrophages. Conversely, lung macrophages although markedly reduced, were still present in GM-CSF KO mice. Conclusion: Increased exposure to GM-CSF antenatally, resulted in accumulation of immature macrophages in the fetal lung interstitium. Absence of GM-CSF did not abrogate but delayed the transitioning of interstitial macrophages. Together, these results suggest that other perinatal factors may be involved in modulating the maturation of alveolar macrophages in the developing fetal lung.
Asparaginase-induced hypertriglyceridemia can have a spectrum of clinical presentations, from being asymptomatic to having life-threatening thrombosis or hyperviscosity syndrome. At present, there is no recommendation on routine lipid monitoring during asparaginase-containing treatment phase, nor a standardized guideline on its management. Two cases are presented here to illustrate the effects of concurrent infection on asparaginase-induced hypertriglyceridemia in patients with high-risk ALL and the use of SMOFlipid infusion as a treatment option in an acute situation.
Introduction: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a variety of co-morbid medical problems, including sleep disturbances. Prevalence of sleep disorders has been reported to be higher in this group as compared to the general population. Identifying sleep problems in children with ASD may help increase awareness and improve the overall quality of care for them. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of sleep problems and associated factors in a group of Malaysian children aged 6-16 years, with ASD. Method: This is a cross-sectional study at the Child Development Centre of UKM Medical Centre (UKM MC) on ASD children aged 6-16 years. Demographic data was obtained and the Sleep Disturbances Scale for Children (SDSC) questionnaire was completed by the main caregiver. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine factors related to higher total SDSC scores. Results: A total of 128 patients were recruited (111 boys) with a median age of 8 years 3 months (IQR: 2 years 10 months). Forty-seven (36.7%) of them obtained total SDSC scores in the pathological range with 19 (14.8%) scoring high for overall disturbances and 28 (21.9%) for at least one subtype of sleep disorders: 25 (19.5%) DIMS, 18 (14.1%) SBD, 10 (7.8%) DOES, 5 (3.9%) DOA, 6 (4.7%) SWTD, and 3 (2.3%) SHY. More than half of the children (57.8%) were reported to have sufficient sleep duration of 8-11 h, but longer sleep latency of at least 15 min (82.8%). Half of the ASD children also had co-morbidities in which one-third (34.4%) had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using logistic regression analysis, four factors were significantly associated with higher total SDSC scores; female gender (p = 0.016), older age group (11-16 years old) (p = 0.039), shorter sleep length (p = 0.043), and longer sleep latency (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The prevalence of sleep disturbances is high among Malaysian children with ASD, especially DIMS. Female gender, older age group, shorter sleep length, and longer sleep latency were found to be associated with the sleep disturbances. Evaluation of sleep problems should form part of the comprehensive care of children with ASD.
Background:Gardnerella vaginalis (GV) is most frequently associated with bacterial vaginosis and is the second most common etiology causing intrauterine infection after Ureaplasma urealyticum. Intrauterine GV infection adversely affects pregnancy outcomes, resulting in preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, and neonatal pneumonia. The knowledge of how GV exerts its effects is limited. We developed an in vivo animal model to study its effects on fetal development. Materials and Methods: A survival mini-laparotomy was conducted on New Zealand rabbits on gestational day 21 (28 weeks of human pregnancy). In each dam, fetuses in the right uterine horn received intra-amniotic 0.5 × 102 colony-forming units of GV injections each, while their littermate controls in the left horn received sterile saline injections. A second laparotomy was performed seven days later. Assessment of the fetal pups, histopathology of the placenta and histomorphometric examination of the fetal lung tissues was done. Results: Three dams with a combined total of 12 fetuses were exposed to intra-amniotic GV, and 9 fetuses were unexposed. The weights of fetuses, placenta, and fetal lung were significantly lower in the GV group than the saline-inoculated control group [mean gross weight, GV (19.8 ± 3.8 g) vs. control (27.9 ± 1.7 g), p < 0.001; mean placenta weight, GV (5.5 ± 1.0 g) vs. control (6.5 ± 0.7 g), p = 0.027; mean fetal lung weight, GV (0.59 ± 0.11 g) vs. control (0.91 ± 0.08 g), p = 0.002. There was a two-fold increase in the multinucleated syncytiotrophoblasts in the placenta of the GV group than their littermate controls (82.9 ± 14.9 vs. 41.6 ± 13.4, p < 0.001). The mean alveolar septae of GV fetuses was significantly thicker than the control (14.8 ± 2.8 μm vs. 12.4 ± 3.8 μm, p = 0.007). Correspondingly, the proliferative index in the interalveolar septum was 1.8-fold higher in the GV group than controls (24.9 ± 6.6% vs. 14.2 ± 2.9%, p = 0.011). The number of alveoli and alveolar surface area did not vary between groups. Discussion: Low-dose intra-amniotic GV injection induces fetal growth restriction, increased placental multinucleated syncytiotrophoblasts and fetal lung re-modeling characterized by alveolar septal hypertrophy with cellular proliferative changes. Conclusion: This intra-amniotic model could be utilized in future studies to elucidate the acute and chronic effects of GV intrauterine infections.