Heart surgery in young children: routine monitoring of complications can help assess the quality of care

The vast majority of young children undergoing heart surgery survive the procedure; the survival rate is 98%. This means that the current practice of monitoring survival alone is a blunt measure that does not give a full picture of childrens’ recovery. New research suggests that complications may be a better indicator of the quality of ...


Parents are meaningfully involved in decisions on the care of their critically ill baby when they are given options not recommendations

Faced with the decision of whether to limit life support for their critically ill baby, parents fare better when doctors present them with options, rather than making recommendations. New research described distinct styles of communication used by doctors. Each had a different impact on parents’ involvement in decision-making. The researchers suggest this could in turn ...


Increased awareness of developmental disorders can reduce stigma, research in Ethiopia finds

Family and community support is vital to offset the damaging effects of stigma associated with autism, intellectual disability and other developmental disorders, a study in Ethiopia shows. Without such help, children with these disorders and their families are more likely to struggle, and to isolate themselves from society. Negative reactions to children with developmental disorders ...


Informed decision-making when birth defects are suspected: new research brings fresh insight

Parents expecting a baby suspected of having a serious birth defect must decide whether or not to continue the pregnancy. This research provides fresh insight into the decision-making process for these parents. Informed decision-making is expected throughout the NHS. The new research highlights the difficulty of putting this into practice when birth defects are diagnosed ...


Parents-to-be need to be prepared for receiving uncertain results from genetic tests

Parents-to-be are offered a range of tests to predict whether their baby is likely to have certain health conditions. Many are keen to have these pre-natal tests for reassurance. But sometimes the results are unclear, leaving parents to deal with uncertainty. New types of genetic tests look in detail at the baby’s genetic material (the ...

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