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Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
School of Medicine

The University of Adelaide


Women's and Children's Hospital

King William Road

North Adealide SA 5006



Phone: +61 8 8161 7619
Facsimile: +61 8 8161 7652

 and The WISH Followup Project


The WISH Project: Working to Improve Survival and Health for babies born very preterm: The WISH Project.

This project is currently in progress.

Once the binational antenatal magnesium guidelines were endorsed by NHMRC in 2010, published and disseminated, our attention has focussed on addressing the implications of implementing these guidelines, since very few obstetric units were using magnesium sulphate for fetal, neonatal and infant neuroprotection. We were fortunate to be granted funding from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance which will enable us to monitor and improve the uptake of antenatal magnesium for neuroprotection in Australian and New Zealand tertiary maternity hospitals, as part of the WISH (Working to Improve Survival and Health for babies born very preterm) Project.

Babies born early (less than 30 weeks of gestation) are at high risk of dying in the first weeks of life or later having cerebral palsy. New research evidence shows that giving mothers magnesium sulphate immediately prior to an early birth (at less than 30 weeks' gestation) significantly increases the chances of the baby surviving without cerebral palsy.

The overall aims of the WISH Project are to optimise the care of women at risk of imminent early preterm birth and so improve the chances of survival and long term good health for their babies.

The project will gather 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. Furthermore, it will provide clinical indicators for care that can be used for quality improvement within participating hospitals, and information regarding strategies for implementation of the new treatment in hospitals across Australia and New Zealand.

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


The Cerebral Palsy Institute Grant 2011-2013; For The WISH Project

The Cerebral Palsy Institute Grant 2014-2018; For The WISH Followup Project

Investigators and Staff:

Professor Caroline Crowther; Ms Philippa Middleton; A/Professor Vicki Flenady; Professor Jonathan Morris, Dr Sarah McIntyre, Ms Emily Bain, Ms Pat Ashwood, Dr Kasia Siwicki, Dr Katie Groom

Clinical Trial Coordinator:

Ms Pat Ashwood



  • Crowther CA, Middleton PF, Bain E, 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 Preg Childbirth 2013;13. (Protocol)
  • Bain E, Bubner T, Ashwood P, Crowther CA, Middleton P, The 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 2012. (Article)
  • Bain E, Middleton P, Crowther CA: Different magnesium sulphate regimens for neuroprotection of the fetus for women at risk of preterm birth. Cochrane Db Syst Rev 2012(2). (Review)
  • Antenatal Magnesium Sulphate for Neuroprotection Guideline Development Panel. Antenatal magnesium sulphate prior to preterm birth for neuroprotection of the fetus, infant and child: National clinical practice guidelines. Adelaide: The University of Adelaide, 2010. (Guidelines)
  • Doyle LW, 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. (Review)

WISH Project Implementation Documents

Recent Newsletters

Older Newsletters

Key Contacts: Professor Caroline Crowther, Ms Philippa Middleton, Ms Emily Bain