Upstate News

August 29, 2007
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

SUNY Upstate study to find risk factors for breast infection in breastfeeding women

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — SUNY Upstate Medical University is conducting a study examining whether the presence of a mircoorganism in the mother or child’s nasal passages may be a risk factor for mastitis or breast infection in women who are breastfeeding.

Up to a quarter of women who breastfeed their babies will develop acute inflammation of the breast called lactation mastitis or breastfeeding mastitis. Most women recover from lactational mastitis and go on to continue nursing without problems. However, many women experience significant pain and worry due to the condition.

Additionally, some women, especially if not treated appropriately, develop more serious infections as a result of the mastitis.

The study will attempt to find out whether the presence of bacterial microorganisim, called Staphylococcus aureus can make someone more susceptible to developing mastitis. The microorganism is found in the nasal passages of a segment of the healthy population. Study participants, both mother and child, will be a given painless nasal swab prior to discharge from the hospital and an additional swab will be taken 7 to ten days later, which can be done at home. Participants will also receive a telephone call to monitor health one week, six weeks and 12 weeks after delivery.

The study plans to enroll more than 400 women who are breastfeeding and their infants. There is no cost to participate in the study.

The study’s principal investigator is Jayne R. Charlamb, M.D.; research coordinator is Linda Ellinwood, R.N.

The study is funded by Friend In Deed, University Hospital’s annual fund, which is administered through the Upstate Medical University Foundation.

For more information on the study, call 315-464-2197.

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