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Université de Montréal

The University of Montreal and of the world

The University of Montréal
and of higher preemie survival rates

Jean-Claude Lavoie

Dr. Jean-Claude Lavoie and his team have discovered that shielding preemie baby food from light from the time it is prepared to the time it is administered reduced the mortality rate of the most vulnerable premature babies by 50%.

This is because the current intravenous method of feeding babies born before 32 weeks promotes the formation of oxidizing molecules that preemies’ immature defences cannot fight. Photoprotection of their food, as the process is called, cuts the production of these oxidants in half.

This discovery will make it possible to not only limit the health complications for babies born preterm but also offer them a normal life as they mature, similar to that of full-term babies, even several years later.

As soon as pharmaceutical laboratories have designed and produced the ultra-specialized equipment required for this photoprotection, the technique will spread beyond the CHU Sainte-Justine hospital. This very important neonatology discovery will then benefit as many families as possible, in Montréal, across Quebec and throughout the world.

Dr. Jean-Claude Lavoie is a researcher at the CHU Sainte-Justine hospital and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Nutrition and Pediatrics at the Université de Montréal. He and his team reached their conclusions after analyzing four different studies on the administration of food in hospital neonatology departments.