EPO Hormone Improves their Outcome
Seattle Children’s neonatologist Dr. Sandra Juul has been studying the effects of erythropoietin on preemies for 19 years — and she believes it is the key to combating the negative effects of extreme early births. Between 40 and 50 percent of extremely preterm infants — those born between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation — die or have moderate to severe neurodevelopmental impairment. According to Dr. Juul, these impairments can include cerebral palsy, mental impairment, blindness and deafness. Juul believes that erythropoietin (Epo), a hormone that is produced in the brain and kidneys and is essential for baby's survival, is the key to improving the lives of preterm babies because it has the ability to protect cells in the body. Based on her many years of research, she believes that Epo can be used to protect babies' brains from neurodevelopmental damage cause by extreme early delivery. Epo is currently used in a lower dose to treat or prevent anemia in preterm babies because it stimulates red blood cell production and can also reduce the need for blood transfusions. Dr. Juul and her team are currently in the process of enrolling preterm babies for her study, dubbed the PENUT Trial. The trial has 5 percent of its goal of 940 preterm infants, though enrollment just recently began.
About Seattle Children’s
Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.
Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.
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