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GOLD Learning Speakers

Ireland

Afif EL-Khuffash, MB, BCh, BAO, BA (Sci), FRCPI, MD, DCE, IBCLC

  • Speaker Type: GOLD Neonatal 2022
  • Country: Ireland
Biography:

Prof EL-Khuffash is a Consultant Neonatologist and Paediatrician. He is a Clinical Professor of Paediatrics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He is a qualified International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. His two primary clinical and research areas of expertise are heart function in neonates and the promotion of breast feeding, and breast feeding support to new mothers.He also has extensive expertise in general feeding issues encountered by babies over the first few months.

Prof EL-Khuffash sees families for antenatal breast feeding and fetal anomaly consultations and postnatal infant assessment, 2 and 6 week checks, and breastfeeding/general support including early irritability and reflux. Prof EL-Khuffash has considerable knowledge of breast feeding medicine and experience in providing antenatal and postnatal breast feeding advice and support to new mothers. This includes identifying and addressing challenges to breastfeeding in both the mother and the baby. He also specialises in general feeding difficulties and early feeding issues encountered by babies.

Prof EL-Khuffash graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 2002 and enrolled in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland paediatric specialist training scheme in 2005. He completed a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in University College, Dublin in 2008 and his neonatal specialty training in Toronto, Canada (2009- 2011). Following this, he was appointed as a consultant Neonatologist and Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto in January of 2011. He obtained a diploma in clinical epidemiology during his time in Toronto. He is the recipient of several national and international research awards.

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
Early Breastmilk Exposure and Later Cardiovascular Health in Premature Infants
Premature infants have impaired cardiovascular function that persists into adulthood. Preterm infants exhibit impaired systolic and diastolic dysfunction that is intolerant of the adverse loading conditions experienced during the early neonatal period. Young adults born premature demonstrate a unique cardiac phenotype characterized by reduced biventricular volume, relatively lower systolic and diastolic function, and a disproportionate increase in muscle mass. This may clinically manifest by an increased risk of cardiovascular incidents, hypertension, and reduced exercise tolerance. Those consequences appear to result from early postnatal cardiac remodelling due to premature birth and associated comorbidities. Recent evidence suggests that early exposure to breast milk slows down or even arrests those pathophysiological changes, thereby mitigating the long-term adverse effects of premature birth on cardiovascular health. In this presentation, I aim to demonstrate the vital role of early breast milk exposure in preventing cardiovascular disease in preterm infants. We will explore the emerging evidence and examine the possible mechanistic pathways mediating this phenomenon.