Contact the PSANZ Secretariat at:                                                                                           December 2015
12 Upper Wights Mtn Rd, Samford QLD 4520
PO Box 488, Samford QLD 4520
0417 772 996
Dear <<First Name>>
Welcome to this month's Christmas edition of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand e-newsletter.
We at PSANZ would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a 2016 full of happiness and success.
PSANZ - New Secretariat in 2016
From January 29th 2016, we will welcome Jenny Boden and her team from Corporate Communique as PSANZ’s new secretariat. The team at Corporate Communique currently provide event consultancy for PSANZ and will add secretariat support to that portfolio next year. We look forward to a productive collaboration between the two organisations.
Secretariat contact details:
Suite 7, 9-11 Blake St
Mornington, VIC 3931
The PSANZ Board would like to say a big thank you to Wendy Crockford of Quality Care who has provided secretariat support for the past two years and wish her well in future endeavours.

Australian Clinical Trials Alliance

PSANZ is making its mark
The PSANZ Interdisciplinary Maternal Perinatal Australasian Collaborative Trials (IMPACT) Committee are to be congratulated on their acceptance as full members of ACTA. This was decided after a detailed application process and is indeed an honour for PSANZ.

In addition, one of our Board of Directors, Katie Groom, has been accepted as a member o the ACTA Board. Congratulations Katie.

To read all the latest news from ACTA on their website version of the newsletter, please click here.

PSANZ Policy Subcommittee

As you can see below, the Policy Subcommittee have been very busy this year, reviewing guideline and position statements, making responses and representing PSANZ on other bodies of work.

PSANZ Cerebral Palsy Research

Robert Galinsky, winner of a 2015 PSANZ Cerebral Palsy Research Award gives a summary of his research . . .
Study title: Connexin hemichannel blockade improves survival of striatal neurons after perinatal cerebral ischaemia
Authors: Robert Galinsky1, Joanne O Davidson1, Laura Bennet1, Colin R Green2, Alistair J Gunn1
1Department of Physiology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
2Department of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland, Auckland, 1023, New Zealand
Basal ganglia injury after asphyxia at term remains common and is closely associated with later development of cerebral palsy. After asphyxia, connexin hemichannels (a pore that sits in the cell membrane and is involved in connecting cells in the brain) can open leading to calcium influx into the cytoplasm and release of ATP and glutamate into the extracellular space, resulting in neuronal death.
We used a well-established preclinical model of term asphyxia in the fetal sheep to test the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels after asphyxia will improve neuronal survival within the basal ganglia.
We showed that blockade of connexin hemichannels by direct injection of a mimetic peptide (Connexin 43) into the brain improved survival of basal ganglia neurons and correlated strongly with reduced electrographic brain seizures and improved recovery of electrocortical brain activity. These data suggest that connexin hemichannel blockade after asphyxia has the potential to reduce basal ganglia injury and improve neuronal function in term infants.

PSANZ New Investigator Award

One of the winners of this award in 2014 was Nasrin Javid. Below is a summary of her award winning work on vasa previa.
Vasa praevia is an obstetric condition that carries a high risk of death of an otherwise normal baby. Antenatal diagnosis with ultrasound and elective caesarean section prior to the onset of labour will prevent the death of the baby in the majority of cases. Given the perinatal risks, challenges of diagnosis and the lack of consensus of optimal management, there is a potential for a diagnosis of vasa praevia to lead to anxiety and uncertainty among women and has considerable impact on their pregnancies and birth plans.
Our research is the first study in the world to describe women’s experience of being diagnosed with or suspected to have vasa praevia. The findings from this research reveal the dilemmas these women face even if their baby is ultimately born healthy. Their need for clear and consistent information, sensitive care, support and continuity is evident.

Save the Date!

The PSANZ-SANDA satellite meeting of PSANZ 2016

Consumer Advisory Panel Update

The CAP members have been involved in many activities of late and one of them, Jenn Hooper, has been working very hard for improvement in a particular sector of perinatal care in New Zealand.
I'm Jenn Hooper, founder and spokesperson of Action to Improve Maternity (AIM) - a registered Charitable Trust that supports families with maternity related tragedies whilst working at preventing harm by searching out potential improvement by way of systemic change. I'm also an active member of the Consumer Advisory Panel of PSANZ. My involvement in the maternity sector came about because of the profound and lifelong injuries incurred by my daughter Charley (pictured) at her birth in 2005. You can learn more about Charley in the Stories section of our website -
I have been appointed as a Patient Voice on a multidisciplinary Taskforce facilitated by ACC, recently set up to develop a sector-wide national improvement programme that will reduce the number and severity of preventable Neonatal Encephalopathy (NE) cases in New Zealand. NE is a major cause of brain injury in new-born infants.
Why are we doing this?
NE does not occur often.  However, when NE does occur, the effects are long-lasting with very high impact.
In 2013 the Ministry of Health (the Ministry), Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand (HQSC) and ACC agreed to work together on a joint treatment injury project. It was agreed that NE should be one of the first treatment injuries to be targeted.
In 2014, the Neonatal Encephalopathy Working Group to undertook a multidisciplinary review of 83 NE cases that were reported between 2010 and 2011. The review found that the death or severity of morbidity was potentially avoidable in 55% of cases.
How will we do this?
The NE Taskforce will engage and work collaboratively with health care providers, clinicians, professional bodies, and advocacy groups related to NE to develop an improvement programme, which will:
identify the size and scope of the problem;
identify potential solutions based on national and international best practice interventions;
ensure the coordinated development of evidence-based initiatives aimed at mitigating NE; and
oversee delivery.
This sector-wide national improvement programme will be designed by the Health Sector and implemented by the Health Sector
This is the first time anything like this has been attempted in New Zealand and we're all very excited at the potential for improving the outcomes for Kiwi babies and their families (with possible benefits for other countries also) in this very important and often overlooked area.

Letter from the Australian Society for Medical Research

Good news from the federal government
Dear Colleagues
Yesterday the Turnbull Government announced the National Innovation and Science Agenda, with a welcomed injection of $1.1B to drive innovation and economic prosperity.
Spurred by recent reports which show Australia as a poor performer in the innovation stakes compared to other OECD countries, there are a number of initiatives aimed at effecting  cultural change to improve Australia’s ability in that area.
People innovate – our  health and medical research sector has a long and proud history of innovation, generating life-saving medicines and devices that have benefitted the world and our economy. ASMR anticipates that the Governments new commitment to innovation and science will support research and our intellectual capital, promoting job security and career opportunities.
Some of the important initiatives at a glance:
  • The establishment of the Biomedical Translational Fund. Starting in 2016, $250M over 2 years to be invested in promising biomedical discoveries and to assist in their commericalisation by bringing matching funds from the private sector.
The Biomedical Translation Fund is based on a recommendation of the Government’s McKeon Review – Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research – Better Health through Research
  • $2.3 billion funding injection (over 10 years) in national research infrastructure, including $520M for the Australian Synchrotron
  • $13 million (over five years) to encourage more women to embark on, and remain in, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related careers
  • $48 million (over five years) to inspire all Australians, from pre-schoolers to the broader community, to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in society and participate in further study
  • $36 million (over five years) through a Global Innovation Strategy to improve Australia's international innovation and science collaboration
  • More than $200M over 4 years supporting commercialisation of research from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), other research organisations and universities through an early stage innovation fund and
  • an array of initiatives to drive venture capital investment and improve the commercialisation of Australian research.
The full report can be found
In addition, it worth noting that the Government  has provided an additional $127M to University block funding announced last week; an initiative in direct response to the Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements, led by Dr Watt AO.
A road show will take place over the next 2 weeks in regional and capital cities around Australia to inform key stakeholders on the detail of the measures in the agenda. Details found at http ://
In our media release today, I called on the government to provide further details around the administration and scope of the Biomedical Translation Fund. The proposal needs ongoing consultation with the health and medical research sector to ensure the outcomes are consistent with the policy aims and that unintended consequences are avoided
With best wishes
      The Australian Society for Medical Research


A short note to remind you of the Government's roadshow to inform stakeholders of the detail around the measures announced last week in the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
I encourage you all to attend to find out what opportunities are available for health and medical researchers. The Roadshow is going to cities and regional centres commencing today and finishing Monday 21st December. For specific details and registration please visit
Warm regards
Sarah Meachem
President ASMR


Update: Patient Blood Management Guidelines

To reference the urls from this artcle, please click on these links:

If you would like to automatically receive updates on the PBM Guidelines, please register via BLOODportal. For further information please contact the NBA at

Midwifery Research Review

Subscribe at no cost
Australian Midwifery Research Review. 
In this edition we feature:
      -         Self-compassion, compassion fatigue, well-being, and burnout in student midwives
      -         Job satisfaction for community midwives
      -         Caesarean section by maternal request
      -         Work-related psychological distress in midwifery
      -         Midwives’ knowledge of IPV against women during pregnancy
      -         Effect of skin to skin contact and breastfeeding immediately on post partum blood loss
      -         Antenatal support for women with significant psychosocial needs
      -         BBA and maternity unit closures in Australia
      -         Midwives’ experiences working with women affected by FGM
      -         Queensland mothers’ postnatal care experiences
On a final note, there’s another review that may be of interest to you - Obstetrics & Gynaecology Research Review with expert commentary from Professor Hans Dietz and Assoc. Professor Beverley Vollenhoven.  You can subscribe at no cost by clicking here Subscribe Obstetrics & Gynaecology Research Review and typing “Yes Please” in the body of the email – or you can subscribe directly from the Research Review web site.
Head to the Midwifery Research Review site
or more information.

Call for Nominations for Board Positions

All nominations close January 29 2016

Please note this call for nominations for the following positions on the PSANZ Board that become vacant in May 2016:

President Elect-Neonatal Nursing
Directors – 2 positions
All nominations must be received by January 29 2016.
For links to all the nomination forms please click here

Perinatal news from the Editor

The equine world also has its perinatal issues.
The mare in the photos below, Beth, who belongs to one of the team at the PSANZ secretariat office, presented with a vaginal discharge at seven months. Full term for a horse is 345 days (just over 11 months). After an ultrasound she was diagnosed with placentitis, putting her foal in the “at risk” category.  The vet’s focus was on maintaining the pregnancy to at least 320 days.  Premature foals very rarely survive, one of the risks being the bones are too underdeveloped to carry the weight of the foal and will often break when the foal stands.
Beth was put on a course of daily doses of progesterone and monthly 7-day courses of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, all given orally. At nine months and at ten months, the progesterone dose was doubled when the mare’s udder size suddenly increased, indicating an impending delivery.
This course of action was successful with the birth of a filly at 338 days! The filly appeared healthy but was slow in standing after birth, taking nearly three hours (normally less than two hours) and needed guidance to find the udder and start drinking. This can be quite common with foals from mares with placentitis, even though she appeared big and healthy.
Unfortunately, further complications were to follow. The IgG levels of the foal were seriously low and three bags of plasma were needed to correct them. In the meantime, we had to inject her with antibiotics twice a day for 10 days. After the first few jabs we had to get clever about being able to catch her! Never the less she quickly forgave us once she wasn’t being injected as is now super friendly, growing very quickly and very healthy.
From top, left to right:
Just arrived;    12 hours old;
Legs crossed there's no more needles;    At the milk bar;
Stretching my legs at 2 weeks;    Mothers milk is best - see how I've grown in 3 weeks.
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.
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