Award to Safer Births Principal Investigator for most valuable scientific article

Thesis Hege

Marie Spångberg’s award is awarded every year by the Norwegian Doctors Association. The price goes to the female medical scientist who has made the most valuable scientific article in the passing year. The award is named after the first Norwegian female doctor, Marie Spångberg. For 2012 this award was given to Dr. Hege Ersdal, principal investigator for the Safer Births study.


Hege Ersdal received her PhD from the University of Oslo in November of 2012 entitled “Appropriate Interventions to Reduce Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity in Low-Resourced Settings”, including three articles published in Pediatrics, Neonatology and Resuscitation:

1. Ersdal HL, Mduma E, Svensen E, Sundby J, Perlman JM. Intermittent Detection of Fetal Heart Rate Abnormalities Identify Infants at Greatest Risk for Fresh Stillbirths, Birth Asphyxia, Neonatal Resuscitation, and Early Neonatal Deaths in a Resource Limited Setting. Neonatology 2012;102:235-42

            2. Ersdal HL, Mduma E, Svensen E, Perlman JM. Birth Asphyxia: A Major Cause of Early Neonatal Mortality in a Tanzanian Rural Hospital. Pediatrics 2012;129:1238-43.

            3. Erdal HL, Mduma E, Svensen E, Perlman JM. Early initiation of basic resuscitation interventions including face mask ventilation may reduce birth asphyxia related mortality in low-income countries. Resuscitation 2012;83:869- 73.

Ersdal was awarded the price for the article in Pediatrics documenting that 60% of newborn deaths within 24 hours is related to birth asphyxia in a low-resource setting. This is much higher than the global estimate.Currently, Dr. Ersdal  holds a post doc position at Stavanger University Hospital affiliated to SAFER (Stavanger Acute Foundation for Research and Education), and she is the Principal Investigator and Project Manager for the Safer Births project.