Neonatology on the Web

Neonatology Timeline

Neonatology Timeline

This timeline lists prominent names, accomplishments, and events in the history of newborn medicine. There is no central organizing principle except for some relationship to the care of fetuses and neonates. Occasionally, events are included from mainstream medicine or science if they have a significant impact on the work of caregivers for infants.

Many thanks to Dr. Tonse N. K. Raju and Drs. Thijs Gras, who reviewed the timeline for accuracy and contributed many valuable additions to the timeline. Contributions by Tomasz Sioda are also appreciated.

Note: The dates on the timeline have been gleaned from a variety of sources and are correct to the best of our knowledge, but you should always refer to primary sources for academic purposes. Corrections and suggestions are always welcome. Please send email about this timeline to

715-673 BCOldest reference to Caesarean section (Roman Law of Numa Pompilius)
98-138 ADSoranus of EphesusGreek physician, practiced in Rome, wrote on midwifery and newborn care, influential into the 15th century
500'sMarble cradle for foundlings at Trèves
1200'sHospital for foundlings, Pope Innocent III
1500'sHandbooks for midwives, based on translations of Soranus
1538Henry VIIIEstablishment of Bills of Mortality
1554Amatus LusitanusFirst account of wet nurse infected with syphilis by a breast-feeding infant
1577Liceti *Incubator for his prematurely born son, who survived and became a renowned scientist (Rapallo, Italy)
1650ChamberlenInvention of obstetric forceps
1662John GrauntAnalysis and publication of Bills of Mortality
1670Louis XIIIRoyal edict creates l'Hôpital des Enfants-Trouvés
1691RuyschFirst report of clinical entity now known as Hirschsprung's Disease
1733CalderFirst case report of duodenal atresia
1741CoramOpening of the Foundling Hospital, London
1753RoedererFirst publication of correct average birthweight and length
1769Opening of the Dispensary for the Infant Poor, London
1780ChaussierFirst use of oxygen (O2) in newborns
1785Jean Baptiste Thimotee BaumesTreatise on Neonatal Jaundice at the University of Paris, won prize, subsequently published and widely read
1788Hezekiah BeardsleyFirst description of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis of infancy
1795Opening of the l'Hospice des Enfants-Trouvés at the Maternité, Paris (later known as l'Hospice des Enfants-Assistés)
1797First description of Transposition of the Great Vessels
1802Opening of the Hôpital des Enfants-Malades in Paris, first children's hospital
1802HeberdenPublished description of hydrocephalus in infants
1803HeyFirst successful surgical closure of omphalocele
1810Use of le Tour d'abandon (tower of desertion) in France.
1814Founding of Paris Maternité
1821La JumeauFirst public demonstration of fetal heart rate auscultation
1834BlundellFirst description of endotracheal intubation for newborn resuscitation
1835von RühlFirst known use of "warming tub" (Wärmewanne) St Petersburg
1836Birth registration mandatory in England
1839FrolichFirst description of prune-belly syndrome
1847First use of ether anesthesia in obstetrics
1847Jacques Francois Edouard HervieuxThesis on neonatal jaundice based on 45 cases including 44 autopsies,described staining of the brain in 31 cases.
1851MarchantFirst report of gavage feedings for infants
1852WestFounding of Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, the first children's hospital in English-speaking countries
1854Founding of first American children's hospitals: New York Nursing and Child Hospital, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
1857DenucéFirst published description of incubator in western literature
1861LittleCerebral palsy (CP) described and linked to birth trauma and asphyxia
1870Beginning of the Infant Welfare Movement
1875Johannes OrthFirst pathoanatomic description of kernicterus. Mentioned staining of basal ganglia.
1878TarnierAdaptation of poultry incubator to create the Tarnier-Martin Couveuse (incubator)
1879CredéAgNO3 for ophthalmia neonatorum
1880TarnierIntroduction of "couveuse" (Tarnier-Martin closed incubator, thermisphon) at Paris Maternité
1880WinckelTrials of the "permanent water bath" for prematures, Dresden
1882BiedertHeat treatment of milk for 2 hrs at 100 degrees C. for artificial feeding
1883AuvardIntroduction of Tarnier-Auvard single-infant incubator (warm water in stoneware containers), Paris Maternité
1884TarnierGavage feedings
1888HirschsprungFirst description of pyloric stenosis
1888FallotFirst description of association of ventribular septal defect, right ventricular infundibular stenosis, aortic valve overriding the right ventricle, and right ventricular hypertrophy (now known as Tetralogy of Fallot, or TOF)
1890LionThermoregulated infant incubator based on an egg incubator, made of wood.
1890LionFirst display to a paying public of.a living premature baby in an infant incubator, Marsille.
1891BonnaireFirst description in literature of oxygen (O2) for premature or cyanotic infants (used by Tarnier in 1889)
1891LionEstablishment of the "Infant Incubator Charity" (Oeuvre Maternelle des Couveuses d'Entants) in Nice (later in Paris and other European cities).
1891E. BonnaireFirst documented use of oxygen for premature or cyanotic infants
1891RotchRotch portable incubator, Boston
1892LionThermoregulated infant incubator made of metal.
1892BudinEstablishment of the "Consultations de Nourrissons"
1893Henry, BudinPavilion of Weaklings at the Paris Maternité (first specialized neonatal intensive care unit)
1894LionAlexandre Lion opens his first permanent storefront for Maternité Lion in Nice, France.
1894LionIncubator pavilion with living babies during the International Exhibition, Lyon (first incubator pavilion at an international/world exhibition).
1894C. W. TownsendDescription of "hemorrhagic disease of the newborn"
1894First "milk depots"
1895LionIncubator pavilion with living babies during the World Exhibition in Amsterdam.
1896LionOpening of the Oeuvre Maternelle de Couveuses d'Enfants, Paris
1896LionIncubator baby exhibit at the Berliner Gewerbe-Ausstellung. Used Lion incubators manufactured under license by Paul Altmann, Berlin.
1897LionDisplay of an infant incubator during the Tennessee Centential and International Exhibition in Nashville.
1897LionEstablishment of an Incubator Institute in New York.
1897CouneyIncubator baby sideshow at Victorian Era Exhibition at Earl's Court, London
1897EisenmengerDescribed congenital heart disease association of ventricular septal defect (VSD), pulmonary hypertension, left to right shunt, and overriding aortic valve, this became known as Eisenmenger's Complex
1898CouneyIncubator baby sideshow at Trans-Mississippi Exposition, Omaha, Nebraska
1898Joseph B. DeLeeFirst incubator station in the United States at Chicago Lying-In Hospital
1899Joseph B. DeLeeChicago Tribune describes the first transport incubator for infants ("hand ambulance") at the Chicago Lying-In Hospital
1899AhlfeldFirst successful treatment of omphalocele by painting sac with alcohol
1900BudinPublication of "Le Nourrisson" [The Nursling] in France
1900DeLeeOpening of the incubator station at the Chicago Lying-In Hospital
1900LionIncubator baby sideshow at the World Exhibition, Paris
1901CouneyIncubator baby sideshow at Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York
1902Heidenhain or AueFirst successful repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia
1903-1943CouneyIncubator baby sideshow at Coney Island
1904Christian Georg SchmorlLandmark paper based on 280 autopsies of neonates, including 120 with jaundice. Coined the term "kernicterus."
1904ZahorskyIncubator baby sideshow at Louisiana Purchase Exposition and World's Fair, St. Louis
1905CouneyIncubator baby sideshow at Lewis and Clark Exhibition, Portland, Oregon
1906August Paul von WassermannWasserman Reaction becomes available, used for detection of syphilis in infants and wet nurses
1907BudinPublication of "The Nursling" [Le Nourrisson] in England, translation by Maloney
1908CarrelFirst transfusion for hemorrhagic disease of the newborn
1908Chicago Board of HealthChicago mandates pasteurization of milk, other cities in the U.S. followed.
1908GarrodDescription of "inborn errors of metabolism" and their inheritance according to Mendel's Laws
1909Founding of the Kaiserin Auguste Victoria Haus, Berlin, center for teaching and research in the prevention of newborn mortality
1911HessElectrically heated, water-jacketed open infant bed
1911"Baby Tents of Chicago"
1912BlackfanDevice for collection of blood in newborns
1912RamstedtFirst successful treatment of pyloric stenosis with pyloromyotomy
1913RichterTransthoracic ligation of tracheoesophageal fistula
1914HessIncubator unit at Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago
1915CouneyIncubator baby sideshow at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco
1915First US birth registry
1915HelmholtzIntravenous infusions and blood collection from the longitudinal sinus
1916ErnstFirst successful surgical repair of congenital duodenal atresia
1919SidburyTransfusion through the umbilical vein for hemorrhagic disease of the newborn
1919Arvo YlppöHimself a premature infant at birth, defined preterm as those with a birthweight of less than 2500 grams.
1919J. P. CrozierPublished the Disease of Infants and Children which became Griffith and Mitchell's Pediatrics, then Mitchell and Nelson's Pediatrics, then in 1954 became Waldo E. Nelson's Pediatrics.
1920'sBirths in hospitals increase from 5% to 60% in large US cities
1922Julius Hess and Evelyn C. LundeenPremature Infant Station opened at Sarah Morris Hospital, Chicago, first dedicated facility for care of prematures in the US
1922Julius HessPublication of "Premature and Congenitally Diseased Infants," first American textbook on prematurity
1922HessFirst transport incubator for newborns
1925HartFirst exchange transfusion for erythroblastosis fetalis
1928FlemingDiscovery of Penicillin
1930U. S. National Vital Statistics SystemGestational age was included in the U. S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth.
1930Founding of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
1932Diamond, Blackfan, BattyHydrops fetalis, icterus gravis, and anemia of the newborn unified as "erythroblastosis fetalis"
1933Founding of the American Board of Pediatrics for specialty certification
1933Louis W. SauerFirst use of pertussis vaccine in the United States
1934HessFirst use of "Hess Oxygen Box"
1933-1934Incubator baby sideshow at Century of Progress International Exhibition, Chicago
1934HessModified electrically heated incubator for O2 administration
1934Dionne Quintuplets
1934FøllingDiscovery of phenylketonuria (PKU)
1934First dedicated transport vehicle for newborns, Chicago
1935American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) adopts Arvo Yllpö's definition of prematurity as BW < 2500 gm.
1935Clinical use of sulfa drugs
1936Maud AbbottPublication of "Atlas of Congenital Heart Disease"
1936H. DamDiscovery of "Koagulations Vitamin" (Vitamin K)
1937W. W. WaddellVitamin K treatment of coagulation abnormalities of the newborn
1938Charles ChappleDesign of modern infant incubator (prototype of Isolette) in Philadelphia
1938AndersenMeconium ileus linked to cystic fibrosis
1938Gross and HubbardSuccessful ligation of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), Boston
1939RungeClinical description of "dysmaturity" related to placental dysfunction
1939-1940CouneyIncubator baby sideshow at New York World's Fair
1940A. Cournand and D. RichardCardiac catheterization for diagnosis of congenital heart disease
1941Karl Landsteiner and Philip LevineDiscovery of the Rh factor
1941N. McAllisterGreggInfant cataracts during the rubella epidemic, established linkage between maternal rubella infections and congenital rubella syndrome
1941CliffordFirst clinical recognition of retrolental fibroplasia (RLF) (later renamed Retinopathy of Prematurity, or ROP)
1941HaightFirst successful primary anastomosis of tracheoesophageal fistula
1942Florey and ChainFirst clinical use of Penicillin.
1942TerryFirst published description of Retrolental Fibroplasia (RLF).
1942Louis K. DiamondLink established between Rh isoimmunization and erythroblastosis fetalis
1943Alfred Blalock & Helen TaussigFirst "blue baby" operation for Tetralogy of Fallot (Blalock-Taussig or BT shunt)
1944Miller and OlneyAngiocardiography for infants with congenital heart disease
1944Haight & TowsleySuccessful repair of esophageal atresia
1944WilliDescription of "malignant enteritis of the first three months of life"
1945Craaford and NylinSuccessful surgical repair of Coarctation of the Aorta described
1946Sir Joseph BarcroftPublishes "Researches on Pre-Natal Life." The first book on fetal-maternal and neonatal physiology.
1946Louis K. DiamondExchange transfusion via umbilical vein as treatment for erythroblastosis fetalis
1946Clement A. SmithPublication of "The Physiology of the Newborn Infant," first American textbook of neonatology
1946EhrenpreisFirst diagnosis of Hirschsprung's Disease in neonates
1946Hill-Burton Act, federal aid for construction of hospital facilities
1946First randomized controlled trial in humans (efficacy of streptomycin for tuberculosis, England).
1947Caldeyro-Barcia and H. AlvarezThe first recording of intrauterine pressure in a woman on June 10th, 1947 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
1947TaussigPublication of "Congenital Malformations of the Heart"
1947First report of polyethylene catheters used for exchange transfusion through the umbilical vein
1947Modern Isolette (based on Chapple Incubator) first shown publicly
1948World Health OrganizationWHO defines prematurity as BW < 2500 gm
1948Committee on Fetus and Newborn, AAPFirst edition of "Standards and Recommendations for Hospital Care of Newborns" published.
1948PellerFirst use of the term "perinatal"
1948New York Department of HealthEstablishment of the New York Premature Infant Transport Service
1949Use of DES to prevent miscarriage
1949W. L. Bradford, Elizabeth Day, F. C. MortonTriple vaccine for Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT vaccine)
1949Birthweight and GA added to Standard Certificate of Live Birth in USA
1949Cornell offers Institutes on Premature Infant Care for physicians and nurses
1949SmithThirsting and starving of premature infants
1950World Health OrganizationWHO reaffirms prematurity as BW < 2500 gm but adds that GA < 37 weeks can be used if birthweight is unavailable.
1950BloxsomBloxsom Air Lock ventilator for respiratory support is introduced.
1950WiddowsonPublishes the landmark paper on the chemical composition of newly born mammals, followed by series of studies on fetal and neonatal metabolism.
1951Kate CampbellRetrolental fibroplasia (RLF) aka ROP is first linked to O2 use
1952Virginia ApgarDescribes a scoring system for assessment of infants at birth, now known as the Apgar Score.
1952Schmid & QuaiserFirst clear description in the English literature of necrotizing entercolitis (NEC) as distinct clinical entity
1952PatzInitial trial, with some procedural defects, that linked excessive O2 to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
1953Watson & CrickCorrect double-helical structure of DNA described in the journal Nature
1953DonaldDescription of the natural history of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and correlation with X-rays
1953Detergent mist (Alevaire) for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
1953Love & TillerySternal traction for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
1953RickhamFirst neonatal surgical unit, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool
1953EmersonInvention of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV)
1953Invention of AMBU Bag
1953-1954Kinsey, Silverman, and othersControlled trial: excessive O2 leads to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Cooperative trial published by Kinsey in 1955. First randomized controlled trial in newborns.
1954Dionne quintuplets are a national sensation.
1954PickClinical linkage between small term infant and placental insufficiency
1954CliffordClinical description of "postmature" infant
1954Jonas SalkNational randomized trial of inactivated polio vaccine
1954-1956Increase in kernicterus due to use of prophylactic sulfa drugs
1955GleissControlled trial: withholding fluid in immediate postnatal period not beneficial
1955Controlled trial: detergent mist not beneficial
1956SilvermanControlled trial: sulfa drugs increase risk of kernicterus
1956Dobbs, Cremer, WardSerendipitous observation of effect of sunlight on indirect bilirubin level
1956Controlled trial: Bloxsom air lock is ineffective
1956Tjio and Albert LevanFirst publication of correct number of human chromosomes (46)
1957-1959HodgmanGray-Baby Syndrome due to use of prophylactic chloramphenicol
1957Albert SabinDevelopment of attenuated virus polio vaccine (approved for general use in 1963)
1957Commercial production of winged "scalp vein" needles for neonates
1957Introduction of Thalidomide in Europe
1958SilvermanControlled trial: hypothermia leads to decreased survival
1958Availability of modern intracatheter in several sizes
1958First air transport of newborn, Denver, Colorado (DC-3)
1958CremerFirst description of light effect on bilirubin levels, Lancet
1958Ian DonaldPublishes a paper using "pulsed ultrasound" in 200 patients with "abdominal masses" many of whom had gynecological conditions and some were pregnant. This is considered the birth of fetal ultrasound testing.
1959Mary Ellen Avery and Jere MeadSurfactant deficiency identified as the cause of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
1959Jerome LejeuneTrisomy 21 identified in Down's Syndrome
1959Intravenous (IV) fluids for infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
1959Multiple authorsFirst report of umbilical artery catheterization for blood gas sampling
1959UsherGlucose and bicarbonate drip for infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), later known as the Usher Regimen
1960GluckTakes over an existing premature baby unit to develop a neonatal ICU at Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut.
1960Rubeola vaccine
1960Alexander SchafferFirst use of terms "neonatologist" and "neonatology" in textbook (Diseases of the Newborn, Saunders, 1960)
1960-1961Multiple authorsBirth defects linked to Thalidomide
1961StahlmanFirst successful ventilation of a premature infant with RDS in the U.S. (Reported in the Transactions of the SPR, Annual Meeting, May 8-10, 1962). According to an article by Dr. Stahlman in 1980, there may have been earlier survivors in the UK, Sweden, or South Africa.
1961World Health OrganizationWHO distinguishes low-birth-weight from prematurity
1962Maria Delivoria-Papadopoulos and Paul SwyerEarly successful ventilation of a premature infant with RDS. This has sometimes been referred to as the first success in the U.S. but it was preceded by Dr. Stahlman in October 1961.
1962KoopFirst neonatal surgical intensive care unit in the USA at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia
1962SalingFetal scalp blood sampling for pH
1962Weller and Neva; Parkman, Buescher, and ArtensteinIsolation of the Rubella virus
1963Introduction of Rhogam
1963LileyFirst report of intrauterine fetal transfusion
1963Robert GuthrieNewborn screening test for phenylketonuria (PKU)
1963Widely reported news itemPatrick Bouvier Kennedy dies of respiratory distress syndrome, GA 34 weeks, BW 2100 grams. This led to increased public awareness of prematurity and its consequences, with increased funding for research for pediatric disorders.
1963Lula O. LubchencoStandard tables of weights, lengths, and head circumferences by gestational age based on Denver data. Introduction of concepts of appropriate, large, and small for gestational age, now considered to be fundamental diagnostic and prognostic categories (AGA, LGA and SGA).
1963MustardPhysiologic baffle repair for Transposition of the Great Vessels (Mustard Procedure)
1963LileyFirst published description of intrauterine transfusion of the fetus for hemolytic disease
1963-1964Rubella epidemic in USA
1963Maria Delivoria-PapadopoulosSuccessful ventilation of a preterm infant with hyaline membrane disease (Assisted ventilation in terminal hyaline membrane disease. Arch. Dis. Child., 39:481-484, 1964)
1964StoweEpsom salt enemas used as therapy for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
1964EickhoffFirst report of Group B streptococcus in neonatal sepsis
1965University of ColoradoFirst pediatric nurse practioner (PNP) training program.
1966Usher et alPhysical characteristics for assessment of gestational age
1966Foreshadowing of regionalization, first newborn with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) transferred to California University Hospital, San Francisco
1966Rashkind and MillerTechnique of atrial septostomy developed (became rescue therapy for newborns with Transposition of the Great Vessels)
1966Harry M. Meyer, Paul D. Parkman, Theodore C. PanosLive attenuated rubella vaccine
1966Victor FredaPrevention of maternal Rh sensitization (and erythroblastosis fetalis) by anti-Rh antibody (RhoGam)
1967Northway, Rosan & PorterBronchopulmonary dysplasia (BDP) described
1967First helicopter transport of newborn, Peoria, Illinois
1967GuthkelchTreatment of hydrocephalus with Holter Valve
1967Hon and QuillenDescription of three types of fetal heart rate decelerations
1967KantrowitzFirst heart transplant in newborn, Brooklyn, New York
1968FontanFontan procedure for surgical palliation of functional single ventricle
1968Corometrics Co.Commercial availability of fetal heart rate monitors
1968Amiel-TisonNeurological assessment of gestational age
1968Canadian Department of National Health and WelfarePublished guidelines for the transportation of a newborn or mother to tertiary hospitals
1968Wilmore & DudtrickFirst published report of total intravenous nutrition of newborn (TPN)
1969Du and OliverFirst description of use of an open radiant warmer for newborns.
1969Early regionalization, first transport of a pregnant woman in preterm labor from one city to another
1969Rubella vaccine released (live attenuated virus )
1969LuceyControlled trial: phototherapy treatment of hyperbilirubinemia
1967First commercial pediatric ventilator, Bourns LS-104. This was a piston-driven volume ventilator and subsequently replaced by pressure-limited ventilators such as the Baby Bird and the Bourns BP-200.
1969Forrest BirdBaby Bird, first time-cycled pressure-limited ventilator for infants
1970Stern, Outerbridge, Shepard, and StahlmanIntroduce continuous negative pressure ventilator; several clinical trials were conducted.
1970Publication of standardized techniques for umbilical artery catheterization
1970DubowitzGestational age scoring method based on combined physical and neurological characteristics
1970First report of xenon arc photocoagulation for ROP
1971George GregoryUse of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
1971Gluck et alAssessment of "pulmonary maturity" by amniocentesis to measure lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio (L/S ratio)
1971American Medical AssociationPolicy statement on regionalization of perinatal care, later endorsed by the AAP.
1972Shannon et alDescription of hyperoxia test for cyanotic congenital heart disease
1972KirbyIntermittent mandatory ventilation (IMV) for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) - Baby Bird ventilator
1972LigginsControlled trial: antenatal glucocorticoids for prevention of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
1972Umbilical arterial lines enter routine use
1972 (?)Bourns BP-200 pressure-limited time-cycled infant ventilator
1973Jones, Smith, & UllelandClinical description of the fetal alcohol syndrome
1973Multiple authorsTranscutaneous PO2 monitoring in newborns
1973Klauss & FanaroffPublication of "Care of the High-Risk Neonate," 1st Edition
1974SharpePublished observation that Indomethacin produces intense and persistent contraction of ductus arteriosus in vivo.
1974American Board of Obstetrics and GynecologyPerinatology subspecialty certification begins (obstetrics)
1975Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for infants becomes routine
1974George Gregory et alReport that intubation and suctioning below the vocal cords of infants stained with meconium reduces symptoms of respiratory failure due to meconium aspiration syndrome.
1975American Board of PediatricsNeonatology subspecialty certification begins (pediatrics)
1975Olley and CoceaniProstaglandin E can maintain patency of ductus arteriosus
1975BartlettFirst use of extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in infants
1976Anderson, Nicholson, & HeirdControlled trial: total parenteral nutrition in prematures
1976JateneFirst successful arterial switch operation for Transposition of the Great Vessels (TGV)
1978Papile et alReports the origin and evolution of intracranial hemorrhage in 46 consecutively studied infants < 1500 g, and proposes a classification scheme.
1978Introduction of the Sechrist IV-100B infant ventilator, had a microprocessor to simplify use by eliminating manual calculations and support a digital display
1979Multiple authorsTranscutaneous PCO2 monitoring in newborns
1979Multiple authorsControlled trial: indomethacin treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in premature infants
1979BallardSimplified gestational age scoring system (modified Dubowitz)
1979FDA approval of ritodrine hydrochloride for treatment of premature labor.
1980T. Fujiwara et alFirst report of intratracheal administration of bovine surfactant in 10 preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome that showed dramatic improvement.
1980Description of high frequency ventilation
1980-85Multiple authorsHuman immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in NICU graduates due to transfusions
1981-1989Multiple authorsRandomized clinical trials in infants with respiratory distress syndrome using synthetic and animal-derived surfactant preparations were launched, eventually demonstrating the superiority of the latter.
1981GreenbergEndotracheal administration of epinephrine for resuscitation
1981Harrison, UCSFSuccessful fetal surgery for obstructive uropathy. Placement of a fetal urinary catheter (vesicoamniotic shunt) for posterior urethral valves.
1982"Baby Doe" case, Trisomy 21 with esophageal atresia
1982GershanikAdverse effects of benzyl alcohol
1983Certification for neonatal nurse practitioners begins
1983American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetrics and GynecologyAAP and ACOG publish "Guidelines in Perinatal Care"
1983-1984Multiple AuthorsIntravenous vitamin E (E-Ferol) causes ascites, liver and renal failure, thrombocytopenia, and death in low birth weight infants
1983-1985Multiple authorsCranial ultrasound of newborn enters routine clinical practice.
1984International Committee for ROP ClassificationEleven scientists from 23 countries developed a milestone document on the classification of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), simultaneously published around the world in nearly a dozen journals.
1984Jet ventilators
1984Bailey"Baby Fae," first cross-species heart transplant in newborn at Loma Linda University Medical Center
1985Controlled trial: Extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in infants with respiratory failure
1985Use of prophylactic penicillin reduces mortality of infants with sickle cell anemia, provides rationale for neonatal screening for hemoglobinopathies
1985Controlled trial: cryotherapy for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
1985David Smith and Porter AndersonPolysaccharide vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type B (HiB vaccine)
1985"Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act"
1986American Academy of PediatricsAAP Publishes "Guidelines for Air and Ground Transport of Pediatric Patients"
1987Pulse oximetry in newborns
1987American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart AssociationNeonatal resuscitation training program launched by AAP and AHA
1988Cryotherapy for ROP Cooperative Group and the National Eye InstituteFirst report of successful treatment of advanced stages of ROP using cryotherapy
1989Harrison, UCSFSuccessful open fetal surgery for congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
1990Thomas ShafferFirst report of partial liquid ventilation in prematures
1990Harrison, UCSFSuccessful fetal resection of congenital cystic adenomatous malformation of the lung (CCAM).
1990High-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) appears in commercial products
1990U. S. Food and Drug AdministrationFDA approval of surfactant therapy for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
1991BallardNew Ballard Score (NBS) for gestational age, extended for extremely premature infants <26 weeks gestation
1991McNamaraControlled trial: laser vs. cryotherapy for retinopahy of prematurity (ROP)
1992AAP"Back to Sleep" campaign begins, reduces incidence of SIDS by 2/3rds by 1997.
1992Harrison, UCSFSuccessful open fetal surgery for resection of sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT).
1992American Academy of PediatricsAAP guidelines for chemoprophylaxis of Group B Streptococcus
1992American Academy of PediatricsAAP recommends supine sleeping position for infants, followed by 30-40% reduction in incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
1993American Academy of PediatricsAAP Publishes "Guidelines for Air and Ground Transport of Neonatal and Pediatric Patients"
1994National Institutes of Health-Funded StudiesPerinatal AIDS Clincial Trials Group Protocol 076 published, treatment of mothers with zidovudine reduces perinatal transmission of HIV to infants.
1994Harrison, UCSFNIH-sponsored clinical trial at UCSF for open repair of fetus with congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
1996Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of PediatricsRecommendations for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) screening and chemoprophylaxis
1996Harrison, UCSFSuccessful fetoscopic temporary tracheal occlusion for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).
1997Multiple authorsControlled trial: inhaled nitric oxide for pulmonary hypertension in the newborn
1997LoFree fetal DNA demonstrated in maternal blood, basis for new methods of non-invasive screening for fetal genetic defects
1999U. S. Food and Drug AdministrationFDA approval of inhaled nitric oxide for term and near-term (>34 weeks gestation) neonates with hypoxic respiratory failure and pulmonary hypertension
1999Harrison, UCSFSuccessful fetoscopic laser treatment of a single A-V communication in twin-twin transfusion syndrome.
2000American Academy of PediatricsAAP Statement on Use of Inhaled Nitric Oxide
2000Francis S. Collins and J. Craig VenterInitial mapping of human genome complete
2001Harrison, UCSFNIH-sponsored clinical trial for temporary tracheal occusion of fetuses with severe left congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).
2006National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentThe phrase "late preterm" enters medical lexicon, replacing the unprecise "near-term."
2009Multiple authorsMild therapeutic hypothermia for perinatal asphyxia is recommended as the standard of care
2010NelsonReports fetal exposure to MgSO4 reduces cerebral palsy rates. Later, an NIH-sponsored controlled trial confirms the findings.
2011National Institutes of HealthAn NIH-funded study shows fetal repair of myelo-meningocele defect improves neurologic outcomes.
2011Sequenom and Illumina companiesCell-free fetal DNA testing on maternal blood available as an alternative to amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.
2011-2017Multiple authorsLongitudinal cohort studies report adult outcomes of those born preterm.
2017American College of Obstetrics and GynecologyRecommends the use of antenatal steroid in women with threatened late preterm birth.
  • Giuseppe Liceti, a surgeon working in Rapallo (near Genoa); his son was born on the 3rd of October 1577 and named ‘Fortunio.’

Last Updated on 03/23/24