Thyroid UK
82,895 members97,934 posts

Premature - and given hypo by the doctors?!

Just found this, which suggests that iodine based antiseptics used on prem babes could give them hypo. !!!!! It's a whole fairy story. The wicked witch NHS gives iodine in the cradle, then when the baby grows up and at 13 is putting on weight and feeling slow and sad, she goes to the GP with her mum, and finds the wicked witch is sitting in the surgery, shaking her head and cackling saying: "Your TSH is within range - it's only 2.5 - eat fewer chips."

I've shortened the version below.

Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2015 Sep 17.

Evaluation of Antiseptic Use in Pediatric Surgical Units in the UK -Where Is the Evidence Base? Ng AL1, Jackson C1, Kazmierski M1.

Our aim was to conduct a survey of practice regarding skin preparation products for premature neonates (under 32 weeks gestation, below 1.5 kg) in pediatric surgical units and review the evidence on the safety and effectiveness of the commonest skin preparation products.

UK pediatric surgical units were contacted and asked for unit policy and consultant preference for skin preparation in infants. 28 pediatric surgical units were surveyed. Ov 14 units had a standardized policy, with 8 units using Betadine (Purdue Products L.P., Stamford, CT), 4 using alcoholic chlorhexidine, and 2 using aqueous chlorhexidine.

There is moderate quality evidence to support the efficacy of chlorhexidine over povidone iodine for preoperative skin antisepsis. THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT PROVIDONE IODINE CAN BE ABSORBED CAUSING REACTIVE HYPTHYROIDISM. (my caps - had to shout, sorry.) Chlorhexidine can be absorbed but there is no evidence of this being significant. Both alcoholic and aqueous chlorhexidine can cause skin damage, including burns. Conclusion A majority of pediatric surgical units and individual surgeons use Betadine in premature and below 1.5 kg infants DESPITE THIS BEING OUTSIDE THE PRODUCE LICENCE. There is no ideal product choice based on current evidence but surgeons must be aware of the inherent risks and benefits of each product.

7 Replies

Thanks for posting, Aspmama.


My son was born at 27 weeks gestation and weighed 1lb 15oz, he is now hashimoto and suspected Addison's he has just turned 13 last week.


That's v young, I'm so sorry. You could ask for his hospital records if you wanted to look at whether Betadine was used on him. The team which carried out this research obviously had very strong suspicions. I would think the lead researcher might be interested if you found this link. It might help prevent it in future - but on the other hand, that's a lot of bother for you and you have a lot on your hands already.

1 like

It would be very interesting to know to be honest, he was born at Liverpools women's hospital and then transferred to Queen's Park Blackburn then got an infection called necrotising enterolois and was transfer to St Mary's infirmary in Manchester then when he was on the mend he was transferr back to Queen's Park, lol I wouldn't know where to start to get his records.


Well there must be quite a high chance that at one of those he got Providone. Do you have thyroid probs in the family, or is this a new thing?


My aunty on my mothers side has an under active thyroid and I had an over active thyroid but am in remission now.


OK, so the problem may be inherited, or there may be a tendency to inherit it, nonetheless he is a boy, and very young, so it is possible that Providone, if used, may have produced it in a susceptible individual.

Hmm, so the logic is, at the very least out of caution all mothers of premature children who have any family background of thyroid problems should tell the team not to use Providone. But who would know that? Who expects to have a prem baby?

Better, medical teams should ask parents of prems whether there are thyroid problems in the family before taking the decision which product to use. But they won't do that until the evidence gets strong.

If you could bear to, it might be worth dropping an email to the lead researcher describing your experience in case it is of interest to him/her.


You may also like...