Prematurity is the leading cause of newborn deaths (babies in the first four weeks of life) and the second leading cause of infant mortality (within the first year of life), after congenital abnormalities. It’s also the second leading cause of death after pneumonia in children under the age of five.
A premature baby is a baby that is born before 37 weeks, and in New Zealand a premature baby is born every 90 minutes – with 5-6000 newborns affected each year. Babies born early are at a higher risk of disabilities such as cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing problems and developmental delays. The earlier they are born, the greater the chance of them being affected – as their organs have not had time to finish developing in the womb.
All compelling reasons for Sean Daneshmand, MD, Founder of Miracle Babies, to lead a research project examining whether a newborn’s stem cells, from sources such as umbilical cord blood, can be used to improve common medical complications associated with prematurity.
Read more about his work here.