Intermountain Healthcare is at the forefront of researching new techniques and technologies that provide the best care possible for women and newborns. This research, which is led by the Women and Newborns Clinical Program, results in refined clinical expertise, advanced treatment plans, and better care options for patients.
Intermountain’s Women and Newborns Research Department actively participates in NIH-funded, multicenter clinical trials and is consistently one of the leading recruiters for networks including the Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network, the nuMoM2b Network, the EAGeR study, and the Genomic and Proteomic Network for Preterm Birth Research. Results from these trials are answering the most important questions in obstetrics and neonatology and help improve patient care.
Maternal Fetal Medicine
The ARRIVE Study will answer the following questions: When is the optimal time to deliver a baby? Is it better to wait until they are beyond their due date, to deliver just before, or at the 40 week milestone?
The CHAP Study will investigate whether or not pregnant women with chronic hypertension should be treated more aggressively to keep their blood pressure even lower than is current practice.
The PRESERVE-1 Study will determine if a new drug called Atryn is an effective treatment for pre-eclampsia. This study will see if the use of this drug will delay delivery, allowing babies more time to develop in the womb before birth.
The STAN Study: Intermountain was the lead enroller for the STAN study, which showed that the STAN monitor did not improve outcomes during labor and delivery as had been expected. This discovery was important because it saved countless patient care dollars across the country that might have been spent on adopting the untried technology.
Platelet Reference Ranges for Newborns: This study established a precise reference range for determining abnormal blood platelet counts in newborns. Identifying a platelet count as abnormal can help in the recognition of various diseases. Information for this study was extracted from electronic records of 47,000 newborns born in Intermountain facilities over six years. This study demonstrates that the advancing age of a newborn (from birth to nine weeks) has a significant effect on the platelet count.
Adherence to NICU Transfusion Guidelines: Blood transfusions are an essential part of neonatal intensive care medicine, but they carry risks. With this in mind, every blood transfusion given at an Intermountain NICU in a one-year period was reviewed to determine the portion of transfusions given out of compliance with the Intermountain transfusion guidelines. The information was used to identify patterns of noncompliance that could be addressed and rectified. The data was collected from archived electronic and paper medical records.
Using Umbilical Cord Tissue to Detect Fetal Exposure to Illicit Drugs: This study determined that umbilical cord tissue could be used to detect fetal exposure to illicit drugs. Specifically, the performance of a testing method called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was assessed to determine accuracy when testing five different classifications of illicit drugs. If certain criteria were met, suggesting the possibility of drug abuse in the mother, umbilical cord segments were sent to the United States drug testing laboratories to complete testing.
The ELISA testing method provided faster results and is inexpensive in comparison to the other established testing methods. The Women and Newborns Clinical Program found that the ELISA method performed very well, reporting more than 98 percent accuracy in test results for all five drug categories. Information derived from this test can help guide proper treatment for newborns with drug withdrawal. This new diagnostic test is now available for detecting fetal exposure to illicit drugs because of the work done at Intermountain.