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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


February 15, 2013- Perinatology Research Branch of NICHD will continue at Wayne State University/DMC Hutzel Women’s Hospital with new 10-year, $165.9 million contract from National Institutes of Health

   



The Perinatology Research Branch housed at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center has been awarded a second 10-year, $165.9 million contract  by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

The PRB has been housed at the WSU School of Medicine and DMC Hutzel Women’s Hospital since 2002, and has assisted more than 20,000 at-risk mothers, most of them DMC patients.

The PRB offices, labs, clinical facilities and many of the WSU School of Medicine faculty researchers are located within Hutzel. Other PRB researchers are housed in the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth & Development on the School of Medicine campus.

“I would like to thank the exceptional people at Wayne State and our partners in the PRB whose daily efforts improve and save the lives of the most vulnerable among us,” said Wayne State President Allan Gilmour. “The renewal of Wayne State’s contract is a testament to the confidence the NIH has in our people and the quality of our University.”

DMC Chief Executive Officer Joe Mullany also commended the cooperative efforts that helped secure the award. “The Detroit Medical Center has a long and distinguished history of strategic clinical partnerships placing us at the forefront of medical breakthroughs for our patients,” he said. “The renewed commitment of the NIH/PRB continues our legacy of providing our area's high-risk pregnant mothers and their newborns with the highest level of clinical research and medical care possible anywhere."

Roberto Romero, M.D., D.Med.Sci., an internationally renowned obstetrician and gynecologist, has been the chief of the branch since its creation in 1992. Dr. Romero said the “NICHD/NIH congratulates Wayne State University for its success in receiving funding that would allow the branch to continue to address the most important problems that affect pregnant women and their unborn babies.”

Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., dean of the WSU School of Medicine said, “This is great news for the University, but also vitally important for women and the families of Michigan.:

The project site managers for the contract are the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Robert Sokol, M.D., the John M. Malone Jr., M.D., Endowed chair and director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth & Development, and Sonia Hassan, M.D., associate dean for Maternal, Perinatal and Child Health.

 “There have been remarkable discoveries over the past twenty years, and we anticipate a revolutionary decade ahead, said Dr. Hassan. This partnership is unlike any other. We are grateful that the NICHD recognizes the extraordinary environment that has developed here in Detroit.”

Dr. Sokol said, “The modern, multidisciplinary clinical and research environment of Wayne State University has grown alongside the PRB for the last two decades. We’re absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to continue blazing the trail together.”


WHAT IS H1N1 INFLUENZA?
H1N1 influenza is a respiratory disease that is caused by a type A influenza virus. The current H1N1 virus contains unique genes from pig and human influenza viruses and hence is called the “Novel H1N1 Influenza Virus”. This strain of flu germ spreads from human to human and can cause illness.



Does H1N1 INFLUENZA pose special risks for pregnant women?
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of catching H1N1 or seasonal flu. Pregnant patients with H1N1 infection have an increased risk of complications. Although influenza viruses do not infect the baby while in the uterus, the high fever and any complications caused by the flu can potentially be harmful to the baby.



WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN I TAKE TO PROTECT MYSELF AND MY UNBORN BABY?
The best way to protect yourself and your unborn baby is to have a vaccination (which is safe during pregnancy). You should also make sure you follow good hygiene practices including:

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based gel hand cleaners are also good to use.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Talk to your doctor about your concerns.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF H1N1 INFLUENZA?
The symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and may include acute onset of:

  • Fever (greater than 100 F or 37.8 C)
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu.


WILL THE SYMPTOMS BE THE SAME IF I AM PREGNANT?
Yes, the symptoms of flu will be the same as in women who are not pregnant.




WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET SICK?
If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home, limit contact with others, and call your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Treat any fever right away. Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is the best treatment of fever in pregnancy.
  • Get plenty of rest and drink clear fluids.
  • Your doctor may test you for flu or will decide if you need medications to treat the flu.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash and cleanse your hands.
  • Clean hands often with soap and water or alcohol- based hand rub.
  • Do not go to work, school, or other public places while you are ill.
  • Avoid close contact with other people.
  • Get emergency medical care right away if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, purple or blue lips or skin, severe vomiting and are dehydrated and/or dizzy, unresponsive or confused.


IS IT OK TO BREAST FEED MY BABY IF I AM SICK?

  • Do not stop breastfeeding if you are ill. This will help protect your baby from infection.
  • Be careful not to cough or sneeze in the baby’s face, wash your hands often.
  • Your doctor might ask you to wear a mask to keep from spreading this new virus to your baby.
  • If you are too sick to breastfeed, pump and have someone give the expressed milk to your baby.


IS THERE A VACCINE FOR H1N1 INFLUENZA?
Yes, an H1N1 virus vaccine is expected to be available in mid- to late October 2009. The CDC recommends this vaccine for pregnant women when it first becomes available. This vaccine has been tested in pregnant women and found to be safe and effective.


REMEMBER: The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against the H1N1 flu, therefore individuals are encouraged to get both types of vaccines.

 

 

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