‘Protecting Babies’ and Children’s Brains’

Posted on: 26 May 2016

There is huge funding inequality between child and adult health in Ireland and the one area where this is particularly felt is in staffing. Compare the example of an adult in intensive care versus a newborn in intensive care. While the adult, often with a shorter life expectancy, will be guaranteed one-to-one ICU attention, for a newborn there is no such guarantee*. The fact is such poor staffing levels wouldn’t be tolerated within an adult context.

This staffing inequality, the latest children’s health research and the new children’s hospital were all topics that were covered in the recent inaugural lecture by Professor and Chair of Paediatrics and Child Health at Trinity College Dublin, Eleanor Molloy.

The lecture, entitled ‘Protecting Babies’ and Children’s Brains’, additionally spoke about brain injury in babies and children and covered the topical subject of concussion. One in five children experience a mild traumatic brain injury by the age of 10 years; the two most at-risk times are under the age of one and when children begin playing sport.

Commenting on the children’s health landscape Professor Molloy said: “I am delighted the new children's hospital, having spent so many years in development, is going ahead to allow us to work together on a single campus to improve care for children.”

*A recent study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood (Fetal and Neonatal Edition) showed that a fall in one-to-one nursing care of very sick newborns was linked to a higher death rate.

About Professor Eleanor Molloy

  • Professor Molloy is a consultant neonatologist and paediatrician at the new National Paediatric Hospital, AMNCH Tallaght, Coombe Women’s and Infants’ University Maternity Hospital and Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children Crumlin. She is also a principal investigator at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN).
  • Much of Professor Molloy’s research has centred on neonatal immunology and inflammation and she has published 90 peer-reviewed papers and nine book chapters.


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