The WISH Project

The WISH Project - Working to Improve Survival and Health for babies born very preterm - aims to optimise the care of women at risk of imminent early preterm birth and improve the chances of survival and long-term good health for their babies.

Since the binational antenatal magnesium guidelines were published by NHMRC in 2010, our attention has focused on implementing these guidelines, as very few obstetric units were using magnesium sulfate for fetal, neonatal and infant neuroprotection. We were fortunate to be granted funding from Cerebral Palsy Alliance which enabled us to monitor and improve the uptake of antenatal magnesium for neuroprotection in Australian and NZ tertiary maternity hospitals, as part of the WISH project.

In Australia and New Zealand, the specific aims of the project are to monitor and improve the uptake and use of antenatal magnesium sulfate as a neuroprotective therapy immediately prior to imminent, early preterm birth (birth planned or definitely expected within 24h at less than 30 weeks’ gestation), to reduce the risk of the baby dying or having cerebral palsy.

The WISH Project is gathering data from mothers and their babies born very early, which will allow monitoring of the use of a new therapy for the prevention of cerebral palsy, as well as assessment of the changes in mortality and morbidity resulting from uptake of the new treatment.

Key publications

Crowther, CA; Middleton, PF Emily Bain; Ashwood, P; Bubner, T; Flenady, V; Morris, J; McIntyre, S, and the WISH Project Team. Working to improve survival and health for babies born very preterm: the WISH project protocol BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2013.

Bain E, Bubner T, Ashwood P, Crowther CA, Middleton P; WISH Project Team. Implementation of a clinical practice guideline for antenatal magnesium sulphate for neuroprotection in Australia and New Zealand. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2013 Feb;53(1):86-9. doi: 10.1111/ajo.12008. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

Bain E, Middleton P, Crowther CA. Different magnesium sulphate regimens for neuroprotection of the fetus for women at risk of preterm birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;(2):CD009302. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009302.pub2.

Doyle LW1, Crowther CA, Middleton P, Marret S, Rouse D. Magnesium sulphate for women at risk of preterm birth for neuroprotection of the fetus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jan 21;(1):CD004661. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004661.pub3.