PRSAwards2022Two faculty members in the Division of Neonatology were honored at the Perinatal Research Society annual meeting, held in Austin, TX from Sept. 9-11. Ariel Salas, M.D., associate professor, and Vikek Shukla, M.D., assistant professor, both received the Outstanding Paper by an Associate Member/ Best Young Investigator Paper, Perinatal Research Society Award.  

Dr. Salas received this award for his project “Body composition of extremely preterm infants fed protein-enriched, fortified milk: a randomized trial”.  

“This randomized controlled trial (RCT) of extremely preterm infants finds better fat free mass & greater weight and length by three months of age in those provided hydrolyzed protein,” states Dr. Salas. “It adds evidence for practice in extremely low birth weight babies (ELBW) population.”   

Dr. Shukla’s project, “Predictive Ability of 10-Minute Apgar Scores for Mortality and Neurodevelopmental Disability”, earned him the award.  

“This manuscript aimed to evaluate the predictive performance of Apgar scores for death or moderate or severe disability at 18 to 22 months of age in infants suffering from perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy using data from the Optimizing Cooling Trial by the Neonatal Research Network (NRN) of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD),” said Dr. Shukla. 

He explained that this study leverages the large clinical trial and follow-up infrastructure of the NICHD NRN and provides high-quality evidence for informing current practice from a recent therapeutic hypothermia trial from 18 major US academic centers.   

The study identified that the 10-minute Apgar score has low predictive accuracy for clinical use and that Apgar scores alone should not be used to make decisions regarding discontinuing resuscitation efforts, and provides evidence in support of the 2020 AHA/ILCOR recommendation for continuing resuscitative efforts for infants who have a 10-minute Apgar score of 0.  

This finding is of great clinical importance for managing a common neonatal health condition of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and will lead to a change in clinical practice, and will also serve as a model for similar outcome prediction studies for other important diseases and outcomes,” explained Dr. Shukla. 

Congratulations Dr. Salas and Dr. Shukla!