New magnesium guidelines could help save lives of premature babies

Leading obstetric and neonatal specialists are calling on Australian hospitals to implement groundbreaking new guidelines that have the potential to save the lives of, or minimise cerebral palsy risks in, up to 147 Australian babies each year. The guidelines, which are the focus of discussion this week at the Perinatal Society of Australia & New Zealand (PSANZ) Conference in Sydney recommend the administration of magnesium sulphate to pregnant women immediately prior to a very premature birth (22-30 weeks) to help prevent cerebral palsy.

However, despite this being a groundbreaking step for the prevention of cerebral palsy and death in very premature babies, Professor Caroline Crowther says that the therapy remains underused. "This is the biggest breakthrough in world cerebral palsy prevention research in the past 50 years and has come via research throughout the world with Australian research teams and funding leading," says Professor Crowther. "Implementation of these guidelines has the potential to save the lives, or minimise cerebral palsy risks, in up to 147 Australian babies each year."

Media release

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