The Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo’s (WCHOB) Division of Neonatology received a grant for $1.1 M from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. A published SUPPORT report trial revealed that there is a lack of knowledge regarding oxygen supplementation, delivery and toxicity in newborn infants. The Optimal Oxygenation in Neonatal Lung Injury grant will be used to propel the research focusing on infant oxygen supplementation.
Neonatal resuscitation is necessary when an infant is asphyxiated. When an infant is born, its pulmonary circulation shifts in order to adjust to the environment outside of the womb. When that adjustment is not flawless and is met with immediate complications, the result can be a condition called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) which can be fatal.
Dr. Satyan Lakshminrusimha, the Chief of the Division of Neonatology and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo, is the grant’s principal investigator. His research focuses on the pathophysiology of the cardio-pulmonary transition – how fetal lungs change at birth in order to breathe air – and disorders of this transition such as birth asphyxia, PPHN, retained lung liquid and respiratory distress syndrome.
The Division’s research goals are to deliver the best critical care to infants with respiratory depression at birth and reduce oxygen toxicity; to discover the optimum management of newborns with PPHN; and to further the treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a gastrointestinal disease that disproportionately affects pre-term infants.
The grant’s disbursement over a 5-year period, with $235, 523 given to the Division each year will go towards the collection of physiological data that will help to establish guidelines for optimal oxygen delivery to premature infants.
The WCHOB has the region’s only level 4 unit in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, meaning it can provide immediate trauma care that can evaluate, diagnose, and stabilize patients, also offering a degree of surgery and critical care services. The hospital is Western New York’s center for state-of-the-art pediatric, neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical care.