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The Neonatal Encephalopathy Working Group reviews data on neonatal encephalopathy (NE) to improve services and outcomes for babies. Despite advances in obstetric and neonatal care, NE remains a major cause of brain injury in new-born infants. Of those infants affected by NE, 10-60 percent will die and at least 25 percent of those surviving will have long term neurological complications resulting in chronic conditions such as cerebral palsy, neuro-developmental delay or retardation, blindness, hearing deficits and epilepsy. Although there are a number of population studies looking at the prevalence of NE internationally, there is currently no local data available.

To establish the true size of the problem of NE in New Zealand, the group’s priority is to collect data on its prevalence in New Zealand. It is hoped that predictors and/or mediators of NE will be identified to allow the development of effective preventative and remedial therapies to help reduce NE in New Zealand.

Neonatal Encephalopathy Working Group

Last updated: 13th November, 2021