May 2015 - In This Issue:
Dear Friends,
W e're thrilled to   introduce the  National Coalition for Infant Health (NCfIH) , formerly the National Premature Infant Health Coalition. Now a  project of the  Alliance for Patient Access (AfPA) , NCfIH offers  resources and events to connect and galvanize the prematurity community . With a diverse membership of multidisciplinary providers, leaders, parents, and advocates, NCfIH envisions safe, healthy infants and parents who can access the information, care, and treatment their babies need. The new Preemie Matters + Two bi-month ly  e-newsletter will continue to bring you the latest science, resources, and opportunities to take action. Have news to share? Let us know at And see below for an invitation to our upcoming policy su mmit!

large Nancy Grace photo
Preemie Matters Policy Summit
Join  us for the upcoming Preemie Matters: The National Policy Summit on June 24-25 in Washington, DC; a high-impact kick-off event that will help form the NCfIH policy agenda moving forward. Panel and breakout sessions will feature national experts, congressional leaders, and motivational speaker and preemie mom Nancy Grace. Don't miss the latest in continuity of care, developmental follow up, and innovative resources for providers and parents. RSVP today and be a part of the conversation. 

NPA's 2015 RSV Prevention Guideline Now Available

Check out the  revised Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Prevention Guideline issued by key neonatal experts in conjunction with the National Perinatal Association (NPA). RSV is a strain of the common cold that can exhibit much more severely--sometimes fatally--in premature babies. The good news is that there is an effective way to prevent RSV. NPA recommends monthly prophylaxis therapy during RSV season for babies who were born prematurely.  Mitchell Goldstein, M.D., lead author of the guideline and long-time friend of the National Coalition, said, "These new the practice of continuing to ensure access to treatment for appropriate neonatal and pediatric patients."


Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome on the Rise
Researchers recently reported an increase in NICU patients with symptoms of drug withdrawal, or Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), with cases nearly quadrupling over the last decade. The Baylor University Medical Center researchers also reported that the length of time spent in the NICU for drug withdrawal increased, from 0.6 percent to 4 percent since 2014. The study results showed that babies born with NAS were twice as likely as other newborns to be born at a low birth weight, with respiratory conditions, feeding difficulties, and seizures.  Read  more here.


Neonatal Provider Blog
Take a l ook  at the  new blog by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN)-- an opportunity to read, contribute to, and drive critical dialogue about supporting preemies and their families. The Neonatal Connection blog is a one-stop-shop for connecting with other neonatal providers, learning about the latest resources, and obtaining feedback on current challenges.


Association for Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses Convention
Don't forget to register for the upcoming Association for Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) convention, June 13-16 in Long Beach, California. The annual AWHONN conference promises over 100 educational sessions, workshops, presentations, and other activities providing tools and strategies to improve the quality of patient care and safety. 


PCV13 Found Safe for Preemies
A recent study found the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) to be safe and effective in preterm infants. "Premature babies are more vulnerable to infections and particularly to pneumococcal infections," said the lead researcher, Dr. Federico Martinón-Torres from Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela in Spain. "We have a new generation of polyvalent conjugate pneumococcal vaccines extensively studied in healthy infants...but we had not specifically assessed yet which was the actual immune response in immature preterm babies." The study reviewed the safety and immune response of PCV13 in 100 healthy preterm and 100 healthy, full-term infants.


Apps for Preemie Parents
Several mobile apps are now available for preemie parents to track custom information and alleviate the NICU experience. Neocare recently launched a tablet-based application to provide NICU parents with provider coaching through text and video chat, as well as a tool to track baby's weight. Graham's Foundation 's My Preemie App  offers a guide to prematurity with special preemie growth charts, "to-do" and "to-ask" lists, and a diary to allow for saving events, feelings, and experiences.