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Professor Peter Brocklehurst
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First International Symposium on Neonatal Neurology and Therapeutic Hypothermia

8 March 2010

NEW DELHI 15 December 2009
COCHIN, KERALA 19-20 December 2009

Symposium Organisers:
Dr Nicola Robertson
Dr Sudhin Thayyil
UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health

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UCL Institute for Women's Health conducted an international symposium on neonatal neurology and therapeutic hypothermia (www.isnnth.com) in New Delhi and Cochin in December 2009. The aims were to provide a state-of-the-art review on neonatal neurology and discuss the use of therapeutic hypothermia in mid-resource settings. The symposium in New Delhi was inaugurated by Professor Meharban Singh (pioneer of Indian neonatology and former head of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi), and the symposium in Cochin was inaugurated by Mrs Srimathi, the Honorable Health Minister of Kerala. Speakers and panelists included Prof Neil Marlow (UCL), Dr Nicola Robertson (UCL), Dr Sudhin Thayyil (UCL), Dr Frances Cowan (Imperial College London), Dr Ronit Pressler (GOSH), Prof Vinod Bhutani (Stanford University), Prof Meharban Singh (AIIMS-Rtd, New Delhi), Prof Sachdev (New Delhi), Prof Siddarth Ramji (MAMC, New Delhi), Dr Sourabh Dutta (PGI, Chandigarh), Prof Anand Pandit (KEM, Pune), Dr Sandeep Kadam (KEM, Pune), Prof Vishnu Bhatt (JIPMER, Pondichery), Dr Niranjan Thomas (CMC, Vellore), Dr Kumutha (MMC, Chennai) and Dr Arvind Shenoi (Manipal Hospital, Bangalore).

The delegates included neonatologists from various level 3 and 2 centres in India, as well as neonatalogy trainees. In both locations the symposium generated lively discussions and the delegates appreciated the opportunity to listen to and interact with original researchers in the field.

Panel discussions on therapeutic hypothermia were conducted at both venues. Leaders in the field of neonatology, representing private, government and autonomous academic sectors, participated in the panel discussions. There was significant media interest in brain cooling and the symposium was reported on the local television channels and in newspapers.

Even though some units, particularly in the private sector, were already offering brain cooling in clinical practice, the overwhelming feeling amongst the Indian academic neonatologists was that evidence from cooling trials in developing countries could not be directly extrapolated to Indian settings, and a large multicentre cooling trial was urgently required. Several centres expressed interest in participating in such a trial.

The proceedings and discussions of the symposia are being published as a series of comprehensive review articles in Indian Pediatrics, the highest rated peer-reviewed paediatric journal on the Indian subcontinent. In view of the success and highly encouraging feedback, we hope to conduct the symposium on an annual basis in various cities in India.

Comments from the delegates

‘Outstanding speakers – great to listen to original researchers in the field’
‘Very well organised, excellent time-keeping’
‘High academic quality and international flavour’
'Indian perspective maintained’
‘Good interpersonal interaction’
‘Highly topical and relevant’
‘Hands on ultrasound course required’

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