KET Special: 'Born Too Soon'
Media Contact: Mary Colliver
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2010) − Kentucky Children’s Hospital's
neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will be featured in a KET special
called "Born Too Soon," which examines high rates and devastating
effects of preterm birth in Kentucky.
The program examines causes of preterm birth, the impact of
scheduling labor for convenience, and efforts across the state to
address this serious and costly health issue. A trailer is available
for viewing online at www.ket.org/health/born-too-soon.htm#trailer. The program airs at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2 on KET and at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9 on KET2.
Prematurity is the number one cause of death for newborn infants,
according to the March of Dimes. In the United States, about one in
eight babies are born prematurely, and Kentucky has one of the highest
rates of preterm births in the nation.
Premature babies are at a higher risk of respiratory distress,
bleeding in the brain and death. They are also more likely to have
serious life-long problems, including cerebral palsy, mental
retardation, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and to
develop heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes as adults.
Research suggests that babies born just a few weeks early can develop
Featured in the program are Kentucky Children's Hospital NICU babies
and their mothers, as well as Kristin Ashford, assistant professor in
the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and UK HealthCare women's
health nurse practitioner, and Dr. Henrietta Bada, professor of
pediatrics in the UK College of Medicine and chief of neonatology at
Kentucky Children's Hospital.
Ashford focuses on smoking during pregnancy, which pertains to her research about health risks in pregnant women.
"Over the past decade, the rate of preterm birth is has steadily
increased making it one of the nation’s most costly epidemics," Ashford
said. "Kentucky ranks second in the nation for the number of women who
smoke during pregnancy, with some counties reporting rates as high as
Bada talks about some of the issues that late preterm babies face in
the NICU as well as those she has observed around preterm birth.
"We want everyone to understand that even late preterm babies act
like preterm infants and therefore, they are at high risk for
complications related to prematurity," Bada said. "These babies don't
react like the normal-term well babies. The current medical
recommendations are that elective inductions and Caesarian sections
should wait until 39 weeks of gestation or later."
"Born Too Soon" also visits the neonatal intensive care units at
King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland and Trover Clinic in
The program meets parents of preemies, who share their stories,
including one mom whose early C-section led to a roller coaster of
emotion in the NICU. Viewers will hear from doctors and experts about
important efforts to reduce the number of preterm births in Kentucky
and nationwide. Some of the root causes of the current preterm birth
crisis are examined along with programs that help moms and promote
"Born Too Soon" was funded in part by a generous contribution from
the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. KET developed this program in
collaboration with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the
March of Dimes. The special is a KET production. Laura Crawford is the
For more information on the KET feature, contact Todd Piccirilli at TPiccirilli@ket.org. For more information about critically ill newborns, go to Kentucky Children's Hospital Neonatology. For more information about Kentucky Children's Hospital contact Loralyn Cecil at 859-257-1106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.