Publications Over The Years

Much like this blog, my interests are not particular to one area.  Over the years I have explored several areas with more on the way.  As someone who regularly comments on others work, it is necessary to partake in such peer reviewed work myself to gain some perspective on just how difficult such research is to complete!


Can J Cardiol. 2017 Feb;33(2):199-208. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2016.10.006. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Canadian Cardiovascular Society/Canadian Pediatric Cardiology Association Position Statement on Pulse Oximetry Screening in Newborns to Enhance Detection of Critical Congenital Heart Disease.


Congenital heart disease is the most common congenital malformation and approximately 3 in 1000 newborns have critical congenital heart disease (CCHD). Timely diagnosis affects morbidity, mortality, and disability, and newborn pulse oximetry screening has been studied to enhance detection of CCHD. In this position statement we present an evaluation of the literature for pulse oximetry screening. Current detection strategies including prenatal ultrasound examination and newborn physical examination are limited by low diagnostic sensitivity. Pulse oximetry screening is safe, noninvasive, easy to perform, and widely available with a high specificity (99.9%) and moderately high sensitivity (76.5%). When an abnormal saturation is obtained, the likelihood of having CCHD is 5.5 times greater than when a normal result is obtained. The use of pulse oximetry combined with current strategies has shown sensitivities of up to 92% for detecting CCHD. False positive results can be minimized by screening after 24 hours, and testing the right hand and either foot might further increase sensitivity. Newborns with abnormal screening results should undergo a comprehensive assessment and echocardiography performed if a cardiac cause cannot be excluded. Screening has been studied to be cost neutral to cost effective. We recommend that pulse oximetry screening should be routinely performed in all healthy newborns to enhance the detection of CCHD in Canada.


BMC Pediatr. 2015 Dec 15;15:210. doi: 10.1186/s12887-015-0527-0.

Evaluation of the Family Integrated Care model of neonatal intensive care: a cluster randomized controlled trial in Canada and Australia.

O’Brien K1,2,3, Bracht M4, Robson K5, Ye XY6, Mirea L7,8, Cruz M9, Ng E10,11, Monterrosa L12, Soraisham A13, Alvaro R14, Narvey M15, Da Silva O16, Lui K17,Tarnow-Mordi W18,19, Lee SK20,21,22.



Admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) may disrupt parent-infant interaction with adverse consequences for infants and their families. Several family-centered care programs promote parent-infant interaction in the NICU; however, all of these retain the premise that health-care professionals should provide most of the infant’s care. Parents play a mainly supportive role in the NICU and continue to feel anxious and unprepared to care for their infant after discharge. In the Family Integrated Care (FICare) model, parents provide all except the most advanced medical care for their infants with support from the medical team. Our hypothesis is that infants whose families complete the FICare program will have greater weight gain and better clinical and parental outcomes compared with infants provided with standard NICU care.


FICare is being evaluated in a cluster randomized controlled trial among infants born at ≤ 33 weeks’ gestation admitted to 19 Canadian, 6 Australian, and 1 New Zealand tertiary-level NICU. Trial enrollment began in April, 2013, with a target sample size of 675 infants in each arm, to be completed by August, 2015. Participating sites were stratified by country, and by NICU size within Canada, for randomization to either the FICare intervention or control arm. In intervention sites, parents are taught how to provide most of their infant’s care and supported by nursing staff, veteran parents, a program coordinator, and education sessions. In control sites standard NICU care is provided. The primary outcome is infants’ weight gain at 21 days after enrollment, which will be compared between the FICare and control groups using Student’s t-test adjusted for site-level clustering, and multi-level hierarchical models accounting for both clustering and potential confounders. Similar analyses will examine secondary outcomes including breastfeeding, clinical outcomes, safety, parental stress and anxiety, and resource use. The trial was designed, is being conducted, and will be reported according to the CONSORT 2010 guidelines for cluster randomized controlled trials.


By evaluating the impact of integrating parents into the care of their infant in the NICU, this trial may transform the delivery of neonatal care.

Assessment of cardiorespiratory stability using the infant car seat challenge before discharge in preterm infants (<37 weeks’ gestational age) 

Michael R Narvey; Canadian Paediatric Society , Fetus and Newborn Committee
 Paediatr Child Health 2016;21(3):155-58.


Preterm infants younger than 37 weeks corrected gestational age are at increased risk for abnormal control of respiration. The infant car seat challenge has been used as a screening tool to ensure cardiorespiratory stability before discharging preterm infants from many hospitals in Canada. While it is clear that infants placed in a car seat are more likely to experience oxygen desaturation and/or bradycardia than when they are supine, neither positioning predicts an adverse neurodevelopmental outcome or mortality post-discharge. A review of the literature yielded insufficient evidence to recommend routine use of the infant car seat challenge as part of discharge planning for preterm infants. This finding has prompted a change in recommendation from a previous Canadian Paediatric Society position statement published in 2000.

Key Words: Apnea; Bradycardia; Desaturation; ICSC; Neonate; PSG


High glucose variability is associated with poor neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

J Neonatal Perinatal Med. 2015;8(2):119-24. doi: 10.3233/NPM-15814107.

Al Shafouri N1, Narvey M1, Srinivasan G1, Vallance J2, Hansen G3.



In neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), hypo- and hyperglycemia have been associated with poor outcomes. However, glucose variability has not been reported in this population.


To examine the association between serum glucose variability within the first 24 hours and two-year neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonates cooled for HIE.


In this retrospective cohort study, glucose, clinical and demographic data were documented from 23 term newborns treated with whole body therapeutic hypothermia. Severe neurodevelopmental outcomes from planned two-year assessments were defined as the presence of any one of the following: Gross Motor Function Classification System levels 3 to 5, Bayley III Motor Standard Score <70, Bayley III Language Score <70 and Bayley III Cognitive Standard Score <70.


The neurodevelopmental outcomes from 8 of 23 patients were considered severe, and this group demonstrated a significant increase of mean absolute glucose (MAG) change (-0.28 to -0.03, 95% CI, p = 0.032). There were no significant differences between outcome groups with regards to number of patients with hyperglycemic means, one or multiple hypo- or hyperglycemic measurement(s). There were also no differences between both groups with mean glucose, although mean glucose standard deviation was approaching significance.


Poor neurodevelopmental outcomes in whole body cooled HIE neonates are significantly associated with MAG changes. This information may be relevant for prognostication and potential management strategies.

Use of an obturator with nCPAP in a premature infant with a cleft lip and palate.

J Prosthet Dent. 2015 May;113(5):493-7. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2015.01.004. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Premature infants have underdeveloped lungs and their care involves the use of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP). For an adequate amount of oxygen to enter the lungs, the palate needs to be intact. Premature infants with a cleft lip and palate remain intubated for extended periods of time with the risks inherent in long-term intubation because of the inability to maintain nCPAP. This paper describes the fabrication of a custom-designed obturator attached to nCPAP variable flow generator tubing for a premature infant with a unilateral cleft lip and palate.

High blood carbon dioxide variability and adverse outcomes in neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

Hansen G1, Al Shafouri N2, Narvey M2, Vallance JK3, Srinivasan G2.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016;29(4):680-3. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2015.1015983. Epub 2015 Feb 25.



Hypocarbia during the first 12 h of life is associated with mortality and disability in neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Notable variation in arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) during the first 4 d of life is related to severe intraventricular hemorrhages in preterm infants. We examined the association between PaCO2 during 72 h of whole-body therapeutic hypothermia for neonatal HIE and 2-year neurodevelopmental outcomes.


A retrospective review of 23 term neonates treated with whole-body hypothermia documented clinical, demographic and arterial blood gas data. Comparisons were made across good and severe neurodevelopmental outcome groups at 2 years of age.


Severe neurodevelopmental outcomes were documented in 8 of 23 toddlers. There were no significant differences between outcome groups with regard to the number of patients with hypocarbic means or measurements. There were also no significant differences with mean PaCO2, PaO2, pH, time-weighted cumulative hypocarbia, and PaCO2 range. The severe neurodevelopmental outcomes group had a significantly higher mean PaCO2 standard deviation (p = 0.04; 95% CI, -5.46 to -0.39).


Severe neurodevelopmental outcomes were significantly associated with high PaCO2 variability over 72 h in whole-body-cooled HIE neonates. Mitigating these fluctuations may be a potential management strategy.


Use of paralysis in silo-assisted closure of gastroschisis.

J Pediatr. 2012 Jul;161(1):125-8.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.12.043. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


To examine the association between pre-closure neuromuscular paralysis and time to final surgical closure for infants with gastroschisis undergoing silo reduction.


This study was an exploratory review of observational variables obtained from the Canadian Pediatric Surgery Network database. The focus was on the subset of infants with gastroschisis undergoing silo reduction between May 2005 and March 2009. Of the 186 infants, paralysis use could be ascertained for 167 infants (79 received pre-closure paralysis and 88 received none). Groups were compared by using statistical tests, with relationships explored using regression analysis.


Infants receiving paralysis took longer to achieve closure by an average of 3 days (8 versus 5 days; P < .001) and had greater mean number of ventilation days (12 versus 7 days; P < .001). The relationship between paralysis and days to closure remained after adjusting for other variables.


In infants with gastroschisis undergoing silo reduction, use of paralysis was associated with longer time to closure. Pre-closure paralysis should be carefully weighed in this population.