(Vienna, 14 November 2016) This coming Thursday, 17 November 2016, will be annual World Prematurity Day. MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital are celebrating this day with a "Party for Premature Babies" with lots of activities and hands-on stations for kids (and parents and grandparents) at the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Level 4, 15:00 – 18:00 hours).
Every year, MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital care for around 200 children born before the 32nd week of gestation – 100 of these being born between weeks 23 and 27, that is to say as much as 17 weeks premature. Worldwide, one in ten children is born "prem". Current figures show: the survival rates for these very premature babies born on the neonatology ward are the best in the world. At Vienna hospital, 70% of premature babies born in the 23rd week of pregnancy, which is currently regarded as the limit for viability, survive. "Globally the survival rate is 35%, so that means twice as many of these tiny babies survive with us, and thankfully very many of them without any lasting damage," says Angelika Berger, Head of the Division of Neonatology, Intensive Care Medicine and Neuropediatrics.
At the same time, the outcome has improved for premature babies with very low birth weight (less than 1,500 g): For this group, the survival rate is in excess of 94%. From a global perspective, the survival rate at hospitals of the Vermont Oxford Neonatal Network, a network of more than 900 neonatal intensive care units, is 85%.
"Paul" premature baby simulator for the Pediatric Department
These successes serve to strengthen the international reputation of the Medical University of Vienna and Vienna General Hospital, so that every year many specialists from all over the world come to its Pediatric Department to familiarise themselves with "Viennese neonatology", so that they can then implement this successful method of managing the care of extremely premature babies in their own centres. Part of this training takes place in the Pediatric Department's simulation laboratory. One of the high spots of the Action Day is therefore the presentation of the "Paul" premature baby simulator to the Pediatric Department, thanks to sponsorship from "Chiesi Pharmaceuticals GmbH". In collaboration with the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering of the Medical University of Vienna, the new Viennese company SIMCharacters has developed the most realistic premature baby simulator to date. This convincingly lifelike premature baby simulator helps to train medical teams for critical situations in paediatric emergency medicine, under highly realistic conditions. SIMCharacters was founded in 2012 by Jens-Christian Schwindt, formerly a paediatrician at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital.
Party for premature babies on World Prematurity Day with balloon event
At the end of the "Party for Premature Babies" on 17 November 2016, a balloon will be released into the sky over Vienna for each of the 200 premature babies born every year; the balloons will be white and purple, the colours of the World Day, with the motto "Strong start for little heroes". At the same time, there will be an impressive light installation in front of the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital, courtesy of the second main sponsor "Phillips".
Teddy bear resuscitation, activity course and kids play corner
Before that, the Department of Emergency Medicine/PULS charity will stage a teddy bear resuscitation in the Department at around 17:45 hours (children can bring their own teddy bears or soft toys) and other exciting hands-on stations, such as an activity course, a special educational play corner and an intensive care station, an information point for the Department and its corporate partners. In addition to that, the popular CliniClowns will be on hand all afternoon to play fun and exciting games with the children.
Event: Party for Premature Babies on 17 November 2016 (15:00 – 18:00 hours) at the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine of MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, in the corridors on Level 4 (1floor below the entrance level), Währinger Gürtel 18-20. Come along, celebrate with us and find out about the care we offer for premature babies! A small winter buffet of macaroni and sausages plus tea and non-alcoholic punch is available for children and parents.