Department of Neonatology
About the Department
The history of the Department of Neonatology is closely associated with the establishment and development of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Pediatric Medicine. The Department of Neonatology was founded as an autonomous unit by the decree of the Rector of Kaunas University of Medicine (currently - Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LUHS) in 1992. Since then the Department has successfully combined clinical practice, research and studies. The first Head was Antanas Pužas M.D., who was succeeded by Assoc. Prof. Dalia Daugėlienė in 2001 and by Assoc. Prof. Eglė Markūnienė in 2004. THe current Head of the Department is Prof. Rasa Tamelienė.
In 1992 the Perinatology program was introduced in Lithuania, Kaunas Center of Perinatology was established and the Department of Neonatology became one of its branches. Kaunas Center of Perinatology treats and performs neonatal surgery on mature and premature newborns with congenital and acquired disorders and serves Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai regions. The Department of Neonatology consists of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which contains 12 beds, and the Neonatal Unit, whitch contains 80 beds. The Department also includes a Follow-up Rooms where all high-risk newborns are brought from the territories assigned to the Center of Perinatology. Each year the Department treats about 3800 newborns, 500 of which are premature. The Department of Neonatology promotes family-friendly care and in 2005 the Department was granted the title of a Baby-Friendly Hospital, which was renewed in 2017.
Studies and research
Each year the Department of Neonatology provides training for about 400 students from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, about 70 of which are foreign students: fifth-year students of the Faculty of Medicine undergo training during the studies of the Obstetrics-Gynecology module, sixth-year students – in elective cycles “A healthy newborn" and "Newborn breastfeeding”; third and fourth-year students of the Faculty of Nursing train during the studies of the Obstetrics module, and fourth-year students – during the elective cycle “Breastfeeding promoting and Lactation Management”. Students undergo practical training during summer and prepare Master theses. Members of the Neonatology Society (established in 2009) conduct research for conferences, which are organized by the Students’ Scientific Society.
The students obtain knowledge and skills from a teaching staff consisting of 5 Doctors of Science, of which 2 are Professors and 3 are Associate Professors. The staff also includes 1 member with a Master's Degree in Psychology, 2- in Education Science and 1- in Management and Administration. Students participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes in the Department and HybridLab.The instructors continue to improve their qualification at clinical and educational scientific conferences in Portugal, Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, South Africa and Germany, during internship in Lund and Karolonska University Hospitals in Sweden, the US Chicago Illinois University Hospital, and Gregorio Maranon University Hospital in Madrid, Spain. They also share their experience with Lithuanian and foreign physicians and nurses by organizing scientific-practical conferences, seminars, refresher courses, and internships.
Since 1994 the Department of Neonatology has been participating in training resident physicians in Pediatric Medicine and Neonatology, Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatric Medicine, Intensive Therapy and Emergency Care programs. The Department conducts clinical research on topics of neonatal asphyxia, feeding, long-term outcome monitoring, safe hospitals, and staff burnout. Currently 4 doctoral students are studying in the Department and 8 doctoral dissertations have already been defended. The Department takes part in 5 doctoral stydy programs: “Anesthesia and Intensive Therapy During Pregnancy and Childbirth”, “Peculiarities of Neonatal Adaptation and Development”, “Reproductive Health: Biological, Medical, and Bioethical Aspects”, “Perinatal Infection”, and “Application of Molecular Techniques in Scientific Research”.
In 2011, the first course-book “Neonatology” was published in Lithuania and textbooks about perinatology and pediatrics were produced in cooperation with the co-authors. Researchers of the Department publish their results in Lithuanian and international journals.
The Department of Neonatology participates in intrenational projects:
- 2011-2012 the LUHS Department of Neonatology, the Estonian Science Foundation and the University of Liverpool "European Study of Neonatal Excipient Exposure"
- 2012-2013 the LUHS Department of Neonatology multicenter epidemiological study "European Survey of Sedation and Analgesia Practices for Newborns Admitted to Intensive Care Units"
- 2012-2016 the LUHS Department of Neonatology in cooperation between Lithuanian and Switzerland "Improvement of Maternal and Neonatal Health Care"
- 2017- now the LUHS Department of Neonatology multicenter study "Measuring Compliance with the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative for the neonatal Wards"
- 2018- now the LUHS Department of Neonatology multicenter study "The 2nd International Closeness Survey"
Department of Neonatology, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine,
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
Eiveniu Str. 2, Kaunas 50009, Lithuania
Phone +370 37 326507, fax +370 37 326507
Head of the Department of Neonatology: Professor, MD, PhD Rasa Tamelienė
Phone +370 37 326194