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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 07/29/98
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC Associate Professor Receives Grant for Skin Blood Flow Project

Cincinnati--Judy Wright Lott, RNC, NNP, DSN, associate professor, UC College of Nursing, has received a grant in the amount of $264,785 from the National Institute of Nursing Research, an affiliate of the National Institutes of Health. This research will identify common characteristics of skin blood flow in full-term healthy newborns, which can be used to clinically assess the newborn population. Lott is collaborating with Steven B. Hoath, MD, associate professor of pediatrics/neonatology, UC College of Medicine.

The laser Doppler tool is a tiny fiber-optic light that measures changes in the movement of red blood cells in the skin blood vessels. During the noninvasive procedure, a heated probe is placed on the newborn's skin. This probe measures changes, speed, and volume of the skin blood flow to detect any abnormalities. The FDA approved tool is used clinically for some patients, but it has not been used extensively in newborns.

The three-year project consists of three major parts. The first study will help determine the best measurement sites. The second part will study how the skin blood flow changes over time. The final study will determine the effectiveness of the Doppler's ability to detect changes that occur in the early stages of infection.

The researchers hope to demonstrate that the laser Doppler assessment provides additional information about the newborn's condition and leads to improved care for critically ill or premature infants.

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