Every day that passes the BiSC family is bigger, the number of volunteers is growing and we have now more than 50 BiSC babies!
We wanted to ask some participants that are already participating in the study how has it been their experience until now, and what motivation led them to be interested in the project. Here are some of their comments:
“Participating in BiSC seems to me to be very interesting, it is a very complete study, both at the mother and baby testing level and at home air pollution assessment. All the staff is very friendly and attentive, I think it can help you understand better the effects of contamination during pregnancy, and in a city like Barcelona, I find it very necessary. I am a biologist and I know what it takes to do experiments and bring out rewarding and conclusive results. My motivation is for the love of science and for trying to do my bit to present and future society. “
Participate in BiSC involves the accomplishment of an extra ultrasound in which it is interesting to observe the main organs of the fetus with a little more detail, especially because of the relationship between the contamination at which is exposed the mother during pregnancy and the development of the fetuses. Participating also involves carrying out two extra blood analyses and performing a computer game to evaluate the attention and memory capabilities, which has been seen in other studies as areas that can also be affected by air pollution.
“To me, the BiSC project has given me, above all, the satisfaction of being able to do my bit to a medical study. Participating in it does not mean over-effort, the data is taken in a very non-invasive way and the staff that dedicates it are all very friendly and close. In addition, they give you some extra tests, which allow you greater and better control, both during pregnancy and after delivery. I think that since we have the opportunity and science allow us, we should take advantage! “
“We decided to participate in the BiSC project immediately after learning about its existence. Participating gives us the opportunity to contribute to scientific research, learn more about the environment in which we live (specifically regarding air pollution and levels of environmental noise) and control the health of our first daughter with greater precision. We advise all future families that participate, the commitment that is required is limited and the exams are not very invasive. “
During pregnancy, mothers perform two visits with study nurses, where apart from the mentioned above, we also control blood pressure (very important during pregnancy), weight and height and collect biological samples. These samples include hair collection to measure cortisol (stress hormone) and nail, where we can see the presence of heavy metals such as lead and mercury, which often come from the ingestion of some type of fish.
“The study has been very important for me and for my family. Thanks to him we have been able to observe the conditions of the environment we live like temperature, humidity, and noise, for example. I am very happy to be able to contribute to this study so that in the future Barcelona air conditions will improve “.
Often the main motivation of our volunteers to participate in the study is the concern regarding the high levels of pollution that are breathed by the fact of living in the city. We are fortunate to have the collaboration of people sensitized with the topic and who are interested in doing the home-based environmental visit by the professionals of BiSC, in which not only is it interesting to find out what air pollutants are breathing but also other parameters such as acoustic pollution, for example, which can be related to stress.
During this visit, volunteers must carry a backpack for 48 hours that acts like “artificial lungs”, it is the least invasive way of measuring the pollutants that are breathed and then able to analyze them.
“I wanted to be part of the study as a way of contributing my bit to understand the effect of air pollution, and even if it meant sacrifice, bring all the devices for a few days, in the end, it was worth it. You also have the added that your pregnancy is more than controlled and the team is super friendly. I invite all future families to participate and help us to discover the real effect that pollution has on us and our babies. “
Thanks to the participation of our volunteers every day we are closer to obtaining results on the impact of Barcelona’s pollution on the development of the fetus during pregnancy, but the study goes much further, as we are increasingly aware of the effects that all this has on our health and consequently increases the collaboration of society to find ways to combat it.
Many thanks to all the BiSC families that make it possible!
The text was written by Júlia Huerta, a nurse of BiSC project at the hospital of Santa Creu and Sant Pau.