Brankica Vasiljevic

NMC Hospital Dubai, UAE

Title: Preterm infants & complications of prematurity


Brankica Vasiljevic, has completed her MD, Clinical Postgraduate Education (Pediatrics and after the neonatology fellowship) and academic postgraduate education (MSc in pediatric and ultrasonography field and PhD in neonatology field) from Belgrade University School of Medicine in Belgrade, Serbia. Currently she is the Head of Maternity and Child Health Services in NMC Hospital DIP in Dubai, UAE. She has pursued different courses in ultrasonography and echocardiography in Serbia and UK, Post Graduate Program in Pediatric Nutrition at Boston University School of Medicine and Visiting scholar and Internships in Greece (Alexandar Hospital, Iaso Hospital and Elena Hospital in Athens), USA (Morgan Children’s Hospital in New York) and Austria (General Hospital of Salzburg in Salzburg and Regional Hospital (LKHLandeskrankenhaus) in Graz). She has won the ESPNIC Educational Grant at 5th World Congress on Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care in Geneva Switzerland (2007). She was a local coordinator for International Neonatal Immunotherapy Study-INIS for Serbia and Montenegro and participated in SIOP 93-01 Study, ITP Study and Twin Birth Study. She has published more than 35 international publications in international indexed journals (100 citations), 5 chapters in various fields of neonatal medicine and has more than 30 presentations in international conferences.


Each year 15 million babies are born preterm (<37 weeks of gestation (GA)) worldwide. Complications of prematurity are the single largest cause of neonatal mortality and the second leading cause of mortality among children under the age of 5. Over 1 million children die each year due to complications of prematurity. Mortality is inversely proportional to birth weight and GA. Advances in neonatal intensive care and during the last decades has decreased mortality in premature babies but morbidity (≥ Grade 3 intraventricular hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia, retinopathy of prematurity and chronic lung disease) is still high (20-50%), especially in extreme preterm babies. Recent data show that even moderate/late preterm children are also associated with significant adverse effects, including learning disability and cognitive problems. The major neurodevelopmental morbidities (mental retardation, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, hydrocephalus, visual or auditory impairment) in extreme preterm babies occur in approximately 20-30% survivors. Preterm infants have a higher rate of rehospitalization (most frequently related to respiratory tract problems) than term infants, especially during the first two years of life. The successful introduction of evidence-based policies related to the interventions to improve prevention preterm birth and neonatal care could prevent or reduce the risk of potential complications of prematurity.