Contact the PSANZ Secretariat at:                                                                       May 2014
12 Upper Wights Mtn Rd, Samford QLD 4520
PO Box 488, Samford QLD 4520
0417 772 996
Dear <<First Name>>
We are always looking for items of interest for the PSANZ community. Please send news of your branch, sub-committee or SIG, of upcoming meetings or an article you found relevant via email. They could make an appearance in the next e-news! We appreciate all contributions.

Please feel free to email Wendy Crockford at or phone on 07 3289 3656 or 0417 772 996 if you have any queries or concerns relating to PSANZ.

Message from our President

Dear fellow members of PSANZ,
I am sure that those of you who were fortunate enough to be at this year’s PSANZ Annual Congress will have been buoyed by the outstanding programme which reflected the diversity and multidisciplinary nature of our Society.  Organising a congress on this scale, together with all the satellite meetings, is a major undertaking and I would like to express PSANZ’s thanks to Professor Jane Pillow and her Local Organising Committee for the huge effort that has resulted in such a successful congress.  Thanks also to Corporate Communiqué, the event managers who have assisted us for the first time and who brought many new ideas which lifted the atmosphere of the meeting.
A new Special Interest Group of PSANZ was launched in Perth, the Fetal Therapy Special Interest Group, bringing the total number of SIGs to eight with two sub-committees, the IMPACT network and the Early Research Career sub-committees.
The activities of our SIGs / sub-committees reflect the strength of our Society, which is about more than just the Annual Congress, although this is the annual showpiece for us and an essential opportunity for networking - the theme of the 2014 meeting.  We do need to build on the other activities of our Society, such as promotion of clinical trials to improve evidence-based health care, training of the future generation and ensuring that PSANZ is seen as the peak body for perinatology in Australia and New Zealand.  To facilitate this, during Associate Professor Vicki Flenady’s tenure as President, the Society has developed a strategic plan ( which has already borne fruit in a revised constitution (, the ongoing development of updated governance documents, the establishment of a Consumer Advisory Panel and several new sub-committees to advance the work of the Society, including a policy sub-committee, and strong support for the further development of the IMPACT network into a more formalised clinical trials network with membership of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA,  I would like to thank Vicki for the huge amount of work she has put in over the past two years which has placed the Society in an excellent position to grow and achieve its aims and vision.
The Society is only as strong as its members and I invite you to contribute to the ongoing growth of the Society through its SIGs and sub-committees.  Please contact any member of the Board for further information around areas that may be of interest to you and to which you believe you can contribute ( 

As part of seeking more input from members, we are calling for input into PSANZ 2015, which has the theme Discoveries: Improving perinatal care.  We invite you to make suggestions for speakers, themes for symposia, workshop and breakfast sessions as well as any other suggestions you may have to ensure the Congress continues as a leading, multidisciplinary meeting in perinatology.  Shortly a link will be sent to you and will be available on our website, for you to make a submission and contribute towards making next year’s PSANZ Annual Congress the best yet.
Best wishes,

Frank Bloomfield
PSANZ Directors of 2013

SIG Workshops held at PSANZ Congress 2014

Several workshops were held in association with the Congress with great success. Here's a summary of two of them.
Quality and safety in perinatal care: The annual PSANZ Satellite Workshop of the PSANZ PMG and ANZSA
Thank you to all involved for making this workshop a success. The day was divided into two sessions, Session 1 included a workshop on identification of areas for improving outcomes for mothers and babies through identification of contributory factors and potentially avoidable adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. This session featured speakers: Professor Cindy Farquhar, Dr Lynn Sadler, Vicki Masson (PMMRC Coordination Services), and Dr Sue Belgrave, Chair PMMRC. Session 2 was a workshop further developing the course being designed to Improve the detection of fetal restriction, presented by A/Prof Alison Kent and A/Prof Vicki Flenady. Thirty-one participants attended the successful day.
IMPACT Network 2014 Workshop
With the formation and evolution of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) and intense national discussion about networks for ‘public good’ trials, it is an exciting time for IMPACT and PSANZ more generally. The highlight of our April IMPACT meeting in Perth was an inspiring address from Professor Steve Webb, one of the founding directors of ACTA, supported by IMPACT folk from New Zealand and Australia. Other highlights were ‘speed’ presentations of trials in their planning stages and other new trials and the science of composite outcomes from Dr Sam Lain from Sydney and Professor Dorota Doherty from Perth.
The 2014 IMPACT committee membership is Philippa Middleton  (other rep), Caroline Crowther (obstetric rep), Vicki Clifton (basic science rep), Sue McDonald (midwifery rep), Deborah Harris (neonatal nursing rep), Kitty Bach (neonatology rep) and Melinda Cruz (consumer rep).

There are presently some wonderful opportunities to more effectively coordinate and support trial activity in Australia and New Zealand. IMPACT is a key player in these initiatives and we are working hard to ensure that mothers and babies trials are firmly on the agenda of groups such as ACTA.
Philippa Middleton, IMPACT Chair

Achieving best practice in multicentre trials and audit

An IMPACT initiative
As there is much work to do around trial networks, we have formed a new strategy subcommittee of IMPACT, chaired by Vicki Flenady. This committee has been formed from members of the Maternal Perinatal Clinical Trials Network Strategic Planning Working Party which provided the initial planning in this area. One of the first actions of the new subcommittee has been to plan another very exciting meeting on ‘Achieving best practice in multicentre trials and audit’ on August 14-15 2014 in Brisbane Click Here for more details and to register.

Portal to Australian & New Zealand randomised trials in maternal and perinatal health

Impact has also launched the PSANZ portal to ‘Australian and New Zealand randomised trials in maternal and perinatal health’  Click here to have a look!


PSANZ Consumer Advisory Panel

Providing links with the community
During the recent Strategic Planning process, it was recognised that PSANZ needed a mechanism to better engage with mothers, fathers and families who are central to the vision and work of PSANZ. To address this need, PSANZ has established a Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) to provide advice to PSANZ from a consumer perspective. The members of the CAP will be able to provide an informed understanding of the experiences and perspectives of perinatal health consumers to assist the PSANZ Board, Committees and Special Interest Groups with the work they undertake on behalf of PSANZ members.

 The role of the CAP includes providing advice in the following areas:
  •  Â·         Strategic advice on priorities for future perinatal research including outcomes important to consumers;
  • ·         Advice on consumer engagement in perinatal research at all levels, including participation in studies, engagement with researchers and with research groups;
  • ·         Advice on how to evaluate and monitor consumer involvement in PSANZ;
  • ·         How to disseminate important research findings effectively to consumers, and
  • ·         Advice on how to involve consumers in the annual PSANZ conference.
 The Terms of Reference and CAP Membership information may be obtained from the PSANZ Members section.
 On behalf of the PSANZ Board I would like to welcome the members of the Consumer Advisory Panel and look forward to working closely with them over the coming years.

Frank Bloomfield

Geoffrey Thorburn Visiting Professor

Professor Bonnie Stevens

Susan Ryan Neonatal Seminar

Click here for further details and to register

PSNZ & NNCA Symposium in Auckland

              Click here to register for the symposium

PSANZ 2014 Award Presentations

PSANZ recognises the excellent research work done by PSANZ members throughout each year.  Although PSANZ makes available a large number of awards, only a percentage of applications can attain an award.
We would like to congratulate all the successful members who were presented with awards at PSANZ 2014 and thank all the applicants for their participation.
The Winners . . .
David Henderson-Smart Award - Annie McDougall

PSANZ Nutrition Research Award - sponsored by The Nestle Nutrition Institute - Jessica Reid

PSANZ Cerebral Palsy Research Award  -  sponsored by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research   -   James Aridas and Annie McDougall

PSANZ Innovative Respiratory Research Award - sponsored by Curosurf Australia - Melinda Dolan
New Investigator Awards
The ten winners of the 2014 New Investigator Awards were announced at the Perth Congress. See below for the winners and a brief summary of some their work.
Emily Bain (Other category)
Interventions for managing asthma during pregnancy – a Cochrane review
 Asthma is the most common respiratory disorder complicating pregnancy, and if uncontrolled, it is associated with a range of adverse outcomes for the mother and her baby. We conducted a Cochrane systematic review assessing interventions for managing women’s asthma during pregnancy, and included eight randomised controlled trials evaluating a range of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Inhaled magnesium sulphate in addition to routine treatment was shown to reduce asthma exacerbations for pregnant women (one trial, 60 women). The use of a validated fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) based algorithm to adjust asthma medications was also shown to reduce exacerbations, and neonatal hospitalisations and quality of life were improved (one trial, 220 women). A pharmacist-led multi-disciplinary approach to asthma management was shown to improve asthma control at six months (one trial, 60 women); and progressive muscle relaxation was shown to improve lung function and quality of life (one trial, 64 women). Few other improvements were seen with the interventions assessed in the eight trials. Therefore, there is limited randomised controlled trial evidence on the effects of interventions for managing asthma during pregnancy. Larger, well-designed trials are required; at least five new trials are currently planned or underway
Angela McGillvray (Neonatology)
A Prospective National Surveillance Study of Severe Neonatal Hyperbilirubinaemia in Australia.
 Dr McGillivray, in association with Ms Jan Polverino and Professors Nadia Badawi and Nick Evans conducted the first national surveillance study of severe neonatal jaundice, a condition which can cause irreversible brain damage and cerebral palsy. The three-year study sponsored by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and in collaboration with the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit established the incidence of severe neonatal jaundice in Australia in addition to associated pathological causes and clinical factors. It is anticipated that this data will inform the optimisation of future preventative strategies of this condition in Australia and internationally.
Maria Nguyen (Basic Science)
The effect of intrauterine inflammation on the early development of atherosclerosis
Our research focuses on a disease of the arteries called atherosclerosis, which is characterised by deposits of fatty plaque that grow over time and cause heart attacks and strokes. In particular, we’re interested in very early stages of atherosclerosis, which have been detected in the arteries of fetuses. Our research aims to discover whether exposure of a fetus to an inflammatory environment can trigger early development of atherosclerosis, and if so by what underlying mechanisms.
Leona Pascoe (Other category)
Non-right handedness (NRH) is more common in very preterm children (VPT) compared with their term-born peers, and has been associated with cognitive and motor difficulties. The corpus callosum (CC) is considered a marker of lateralisation, however, the association between CC development and handedness in VPT children remains unclear. Our findings indicated that while NRH was associated with cognitive deficits in VPT children, there was not strong evidence that neonatal CC morphology or microstructure was associated with NRH in these children at 7 years of age.
Victoria Tay (Neonatology)
Influence of Admission Temperature on Hospital Outcomes in Extremely Preterm Infants
Our study was to identify trends in admission of extremely preterm infants < 29 weeks gestation from a regional network in Australia between 1998 to 2009, and to determine the impact on hospital mortality as a primary outcome and short-term morbidities as a secondary outcome. We found that admission temperatures increased steadily by 0.7oC over a 16-year period, with a greater increase since 2006. This is likely due to plastic wrapping introduced in the 2006 Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines. This has reduced hypothermia, which is independently associated with a 60% increase in mortality.
The other 2014 New Investigator Award winners were:
Amy Barker (Neonatal Nursing)
Nasrin Javid (Midwifery)
Kasia Siwicki (Obstetrics)
Vivien Nguyen (Basic Science)
Joanne Robertson-Smith (Neonatal Nursing)

Updated Constitution

Click here to see the latest PSANZ Constitution, updated in March 2014.
The PSANZ Governance Document is also being updated at the present time. Details will be out soon!

Westmead International Update

2014 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and baby survival

The 2014 International Congress on stillbirth, SIDS and Baby Survival (ISA/ISPID Congress) is a call for global action to reduce perinatal and infant mortality.

The aims of the 2014 ISA/ISPID Congress are to identify the ‘causes’ of the sudden and unexpected baby deaths during pregnancy, labour or in the first year, and the actions to reduce them. Another major theme dominating the ISA/ISPID congresses since 2004 is the support of parents who lost an infant.

At the Congress the aim is to exchange preventive measures and successful strategies that have been developed to prevent infant death. For perinatal mortality and SIDS prevention, measures need to be implemented and monitored continuously and progress towards achieving the aims should be measured the coming years.

Click here for more details.

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