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HCRF Project to Help Heal ‘Broken’ Hearts

Oct 16 2015

Dr Koert de Wall

A project aimed at improving care for premature babies with heart abnormalities scooped a $25,000 grant at the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation’s annual awards night on Thursday.

Dr Koert De Wall from John Hunter Children’s Hospital will run a pilot study investigating treatment options for ‘patent ductus arteriosis’ (PDA) … an inherited condition of the heart in premature babies.

Although this condition often resolves itself after birth, standard care currently is to treat babies with drugs that help to correct the condition.

This research project will be the first in the world to compare the outcomes of premature babies with this heart condition when randomised to receive either a standard drug treatment or supportive care such as breathing support and fluid management to promote spontaneous recovery without the need for additional drug treatments.

Other winners on the night included diabetes researcher Megan Paterson (pictured below with Associate Professor Bruce King) and the University of Newcastle’s Healthy Dad’s Healthy Kids program (accepted by Professor Philip Morgan).