(Vienna, 14 November 2019) World Prematurity Day is observed every year on 17 November. Two days prior to this, on Friday 15 November, MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital have organised a "Premature Baby Party" to celebrate the occasion, together with many former premature patients, their parents, grandparents and friends, in MedUni Vienna's Lecture Center (Vienna General Hospital/Level 8). The event will include many interactive stations for children and interesting talks on the subject. Admission and participation are free of charge – the party lasts from 15:00 to 17:30 hrs. A balloon will be released into the sky over Vienna for each of the 200 premature babies born every year at the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine; the balloons will be white and purple to reflect the colours of the World Day.
Due to the great medical advances made in Vienna, the survival rates for the most premature babies – born between the 23rd and 27th week of pregnancy – are the best in the world. "In our facility, the combination of high-tech medicine, innovation, a high level of nursing expertise, collaboration with many specialists from other medical disciplines and the comprehensive involvement of parents works excellently and is specially tailored to each premature baby and its particular needs," explains Angelika Berger, Head of the Division of Neonatology, Intensive Care Medicine and Neuropediatrics (MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital).
These successes are based on a large number of quality improvement initiatives and new therapies, ranging from Less Invasive Surfactant Administration (LISA), which is gentler on the lungs, through to strategies for minimising mechanical ventilation or avoiding it altogether.
Other key areas are patient safety, studies into the optimum nutrition of premature babies, methods for controlling blood pressure management and investigations into the developing gut microbiome of premature babies and its impact upon the immune system and brain development.
World Prematurity Day
In order to give premature babies and their families a voice, the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) established World Prematurity Day in 2008 and this is celebrated on 17 November every year. As a European foundation, EFCNI brings together parents, specialists from many disciplines, scientists, politicians and other stakeholders, with the joint aim of improving the health status of this patient group.
Premature Baby Party: Friday from 15:00 hrs
Further information and programme: bit.ly/2CljqZZ