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The retrospective study reviewed the records of 241 infants admitted to the St. Luke’s Newborn Intensive Care unit (NICU) from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009. Platelet levels and head ultrasounds for the first three days following birth were analyzed, to investigate how platelet levels related to germinal matrix layer rupture and large-grade hemorrhages in the immature brain.
Results of the preliminary study suggest that keeping platelets at normal levels, rather than letting them fall to half the normal value before considering platelet transfusion as recommended nationally, may provide a clinical opportunity to prevent intraventricular hemorrhages (IVH). If the results are confirmed, future trials may be designed to show whether IVH can be prevented with a limited number of early platelet transfusions, administered either prophylactically or as active treatment.
Dr. Coen is a former member of the Physician Research Advisory Council at St. Luke’s. He retired from the St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital NICU and moved to Texas to be near his children and grandchildren.
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