We are reactivating in BiSC again after 8 weeks of confinement!!
During these 8 weeks of confinement, we have been in telephone contact with BiSC volunteers to perform prenatal and postnatal follow-up, but without a face-to-face visit, neither in the hospital nor in the homes.
From now on, little by little, we will be doing some face-to-face visits, starting with the ultrasound at 32 weeks of gestation. This is a hospital visit, follow-up of the pregnancy, with health professionals, and with the maximum safety measures.
In addition, we have resumed recruitment, so far only by telephone by the nurses in the study (questionnaires and signing of informed consent). And soon, we will visit the house again, for the time being very simplified, without any contact with the mothers and without entering the houses. We will leave in the door a bag (prepared according to safety protocols) with material for collecting urine and three tubes to measure NO2 levels inside and outside the house and staff. Urine and tube samples will be collected within a week without entering the homes, and obviously only on those mothers who want them.
Regarding postnatal follow-up, we still can’t start MRIs in the baby’s month of life, and the 6-month visit is still not face-to-face, but we will introduce new questionnaires that parents can fill out (with the follow-up of the psychologist of the study) to be able to equally assess the baby’s neurodevelopment, while face-to-face visits cannot be done properly. We will probably also provide a NO2 tube to be able to measure the levels of contamination to which the baby is exposed, as planned.
Although exposure levels have decreased considerably due to the pandemic, it is of great importance to measure them as well, because we are in a unique situation and opportunity to be able to study and compare the effects of these low levels in prenatal and postnatal development with pre-pandemic levels.
On the other hand, we continue with telephone contact at 2 months of age, and in a few days, we will start with the questionnaires about diet and infections at 12 months.
We hope, therefore, that we may soon have this great study 100% up and running, but it will depend on the evolution of the pandemic and the restrictions and security measures at all times.
Mar Álvarez Pedrerol