In the NewsNew research is being undertaken at the University of Auckland by pioneering professor Alistair Gunn. Gunn has set the global standard of care for babies born with asphyxia and has now also turned his attention to premature babies. Through a three-year research programme due to be completed next year, he is trying to work out how to stave off infection in prem babies.

Prematurely born babies are exposed to more infection before and after birth than full term babies and are therefore more at risk of developing neurological disabilities. Though much of the bacteria premature babies are exposed to is mild and wouldn’t bother an adult, prem babies are uniquely vulnerable in different ways. 

One per cent of all births are born before reaching 28 weeks gestation and Gunn said these babies were at the greatest risk.

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Thanks to Fairfax reporter Shabnam Dastgheib who wrote this article highlighting the neonatal research programme.
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