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Quite methodically, and with very little attendant fanfare, a program has been launched which is regarded by many as the most far-reaching undertaking in the history of medicine. Charity hospital is part of it and already has most of its first 500 ex- * pectant mothers enrolled. The program, in simplest terms, is to find the root of troubles mankind is "born with." Dr. William T. Newsom, who is projec'r director at Charity, says in describing its scope that the program is "the first time we (the medical profession) have admitted we don't know." The disorders included extend to cerebral palsy, mental retardation, behavioral disorders and disorders of the nervous and body systems. And they include fatal disorders. The 16 participating hospitals also are concerned with what causes miscarriage and "blue birth'' and why one baby is killed and another crippled by seemingly the same condition. * ♦ ♦ FATALITIES AT or immediately following birth still account for mankind's greatest number of deaths, Dr. Newsom says. During one year in Louisiana, prenatal or perinatal deaths led by several lengths deaths from heart disease, cancer, vascular disease and fatal injuries, in that order. Far beyond stillbirth, however, the program will probe areas such as why a child is unusually subject to headcolds, and will trace the delicate thread known to link the expectant mother's activities and her baby's well-being. To do this, the government will keep the most detailed files imaginable of 50,000 mothers from the moment the pregnancy is reported until the child is 8 years old. This awesome mountain oi data will be ingested by IBM machines which will, it is hoped, detect the patterns. Does heavy exercise affect the unborn child? Or responsibilities of small children in the house? Or emotional upsets, or smoking, or airplane riding? Dr. Newsom says doctors don't really know. But he says that by the time they ask 50,000 expectant mothers they should find out. FOB -MESE answers, the government will spend fout1 million dollars a year; The grants will be issued through the National Institute ; for Neurological Diseases and j Blindness, one of the seven Na-tional Institutes of Health. At least $262,725 a year will | go to Charity hospital to maintain a staff of 60 for the "Collaborative Child Development Program" and to underwrite its complete records of 500-600 expectant mothers. While the program is financed on a five-year basis, it is expected to be of indefinite duration. At Charity, all tne mothers will be Negro, because 91 per cent of the births there are Negro. At other hospitals under the grant, various other races may predominate or may balance between several. A representative group is the goal, The mothers are interviewed regularly — indeed, intensively, during pregnancy. They are asked everything from what they had for breakfast to such emotional posers as this multiple choice question: "Do you consider yourself: Pretty well off, Just getting by, or, Having a hard time making ends meet?" The mother's emotional balance, and her attitude toward the infant after birth, will be PHOTO: Causes- DR. WILLIAM T. NEWSOM, right, project director at Charity hospital, and DR M. S. M'LELLAN, assistant pediatrician for the present program, discuss -the display of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness at the hospital.
|Title||Expectant mothers enrolled in U.S. project; Charity joins hunt for birth defect, causes|
|Contact Information||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans - 433 Bolivar St. New Orleans, LA 70112 ~ Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org|
Newsom, William T., Dr.
|Call Number||1960 p56-57|
New Orleans States-Item
|Identifier||See 'reference url' on the navigational bars.|
|Source||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans ~ www.lsuhsc.edu/no/library|
New Orleans (La.)
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