Highlights in this issue


Gentle delivery improves outcome for extreme premies


Mechanical ventilation and other invasive interventions performed in the care of newborn extremely preterm infants (GA < 26 weeks) may cause more harm than good. A revised gentle delivery room policy, aimed at giving extreme premies a more pleasant transition to extrauterine life, resulted in both less mortality and morbidity. The survival rate was 80% for babies of <26 weeks and 82% for babies of 23-week gestation at the University Hospital of Cologne. These extraordinary excellent results may be due to the more gentle approach according to Katrin Mehler et al. (pp. 1232–1239). See commentary by A Michael Weindling (pp. 1198–1199).

Academic achievement of adolescents born with extremely low birth weight


Jonathan S. Litt et al. have performed one of the first studies of academic achievement of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) adolescents born in the 1990s. The ELBW adolescents (n = 181) had significantly lower scores on IQ test, executive function, reading and math achievement, compared to normal birth weight peers (n = 115). Hence, the deficits in cognition and achievement for ELBW adolescents seem to persist, even for those infants who benefited from antenatal steroids and other advances in neonatal care in the 1990s (pp. 1240–1245).

Paediatric pain in primary care


This study describes children and adolescents (8–16 years old) seeking primary care for pain-related conditions. The group studied (n = 154) was expected to consist of patients with a short pain history as primary care is the first level of care. But the result revealed that as many as 87 per cent of the patients had a pain duration of more than 3 months, and half of the group had a pain duration of more than one year. In addition, many of the children reported substantial pain-related disabilities. Sara Holm et al. (pp. 1246– 1252).

How to dress as a paediatrician?


A white coat, a casual T-shirt with cartoon print or some outfit in between formal and informal? Can the right clothing increase your popularity as a paediatrician? Apparently yes, if you chose the casual outfit. When 107 children and 72 parents were asked to rate paediatricians randomly wearing three different outfits, the casual clothing was the clear winner. It was preferred by both children and parents without any loss of trust in the doctor's skills. Julia Hofmann et al. (pp. 1260–1264).

Paediatric conferences: Only for profit?


Many scientific and medical conferences are now organized purely for commercial reasons. Berthold Koletzko et al. share their thoughts about these for-profit arrangements and encourage paediatricians to examine the conditions of the organization of scientific meetings and the related ethical issues before signing up for a conference. The authors also explain why it is a bad idea for companies in business areas related to child health to support these commercial conferences (pp. 1194–1195).