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Research Summary

Opinion Statement: The article helped me better understand some of the complications of preterm babies. It showed me that there are many complications and it can be quite messy to try and fix things with the baby before it is born. It allowed me to see that there are solutions but they aren't perfect yet and sometimes don't work out and can lead to bad situations. Also it allowed me to realize how many babies were preterm and how serious of a problem it really is.

Point 1: Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal and infant mortality (in industrialized countries). However, In the United States preterm birth rates have shown a decreasing trend in the past five years. In 2011 the rates of preterm birth were approximately 11.27% while in Canada the rates fluctuated between 7.7% and 8.2% between the years of 2004 and 2008.

Point2: Preterm infants are at a significantly higher risk for for developing neurological abnormalities. Within these one of the most common is cerebral palsy which decreases in occurrences as gestational age increases. The impact of cerebral palsy remains significant on children and their families as the rate of preterm birth remains high. It is the most common motor disability in children considering it covers a wide variety of motor impairment.

Point 3: Magnesium sulfate is commonly used in obstetrics for prophylaxis and eclampsia however it does not prevent preterm birth. Although, an association between magnesium sulfate and neuroprotective effects in several studies suggests an association between usage of magnesium sulfate and reduction of cerebral palsy in extremely premature infants. However the results have been inconsistent.

Point 4: In the mid 2000's three analyses were completed that showed magnesium sulfate reducing the risks of cerebral palsy without increased risk of death. An additional five studies showed antenatal magnesium sulfate reduced the risk of cerebral palsy and had no significant effect of mortality in baby or mother. These studies supported the use of magnesium sulfate therapy for neuroprotection of the fetus of women who were at risk of premature birth.

Point 5: There are serious side effects of magnesium sulfate therapy that may occur. Hypotension, tachycardia, respiratory depression or arrest, pulmonary edema, cardiac arrest and death all are possible. however most commonly the side effect include sweating, nausea, and vomit. there are basic safety concerns as well that include safe administration and the nursing time and staffing resources required to prepare medication and monitor mom and baby.

Additional Info: Yesterday I witnessed a preterm labor and it contributed significantly towards my thoughts of the article. I didn't see very much besides the actual delivery so I didn't know what specific challenges she was facing but nevertheless it influenced at the very least my choice of article.

Citation: Merrill, Lisa."Magnesium Sulfate During Anticipated Preterm Birth for Infant Neuroprotection." Nursing for Womens Health Vol. 17 Issue 1 (2013): 44-49. Print.