Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Professor Dawn Elder, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health

photo-of-Dawn-Elder

MB ChB DCH FRACP PhD
Professor and HOD, Department of Paediatrics


Dawn graduated from the University of Otago and did her paediatric training in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. During her paediatric training she was awarded the Lady King scholarship and undertook SIDS-related research with a piglet animal model of hyperthermia at the Dept of Paediatrics, University of Otago, Dunedin. Dawn has been a member of the department since 1995 following completion of advanced training in neonatal medicine in Perth, Western Australia. In addition to her University Work (6/10ths) she works 5/10ths for Capital Coast Health. Dawn has clinical paediatric specialist qualifications in neonatal medicine and paediatric sleep medicine. She worked as a neonatal medicine specialist until 2004 transferring then to retrain in paediatric sleep medicine. She also works clinically in the area of child protection and has particular expertise in the area of child sexual abuse.

Dawn is the current HOD. As well as teaching roles with 5th years and Trainee Interns, Dawn is also involved in teaching child protection and sleep medicine topics in the DCH.

Research interests

Dawn’s main research focus has been in the area of sleep and breathing, starting initially in the preterm and neonatal age group but extending now to older children. Dawn’s PhD thesis addressed the topic of respiratory variability in infants and children. Further projects are planned along this theme and in particular in relation to the assessment of cardiorespiratory stability at neonatal discharge. Dawn’s research during specialty training related to SIDS and this is still an area of interest. She has also published on death review and the role of post mortem after preterm and term neonatal death. She has on-going research collaborations with colleagues in the Departments of Medicine and Surgery and Anaesthesia at the UOW, and with colleagues in the Dept of Women’s and Children’s Health at the UOD. She is also a co-investigator on the national SUDI case-control study based in Auckland and led by Prof Ed Mitchell. A PhD student Lucie Zwimpfer has just completed a thesis looking at the impact of empathic attunement on infant stress during painful procedures. A current PhD student Conway Niu is looking at intermittent hypoxia as measured by oximetry in term and preterm infants.

^ Top of page

Publications

MacFarlane, M., Mitchell, E. A., Thompson, J. M. D., Lawton, B., Zuccollo, J., Elder, D., Taylor, B., McDonald, G., … Fleming, P. (2018). Smoking in pregnancy a key factor for sudden infant death among Māori. Acta Paediatrica, 107(11), 1924-1931. doi: 10.1111/apa.14431

Wellington, G., Elder, D., & Campbell, A. (2018). 24-hour oxygen saturation recordings in preterm infants: Editing artefact. Acta Paediatrica. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/apa.14293

Roberts, T., Campbell, A., Larsen, P., & Elder, D. (2017). Preterm infants at discharge: Nap polysomnography versus 24-hour oximetry. Acta Paediatrica, 106(111), 1754-1759. doi: 10.1111/apa.13900

Muller, D., Signal, L., Elder, D., & Gander, P. (2017). Environmental and behavioural factors associated with school children's sleep in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 53(1), 68-74. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13268

McDowall, P. S., Galland, B. C., Campbell, A. J., & Elder, D. E. (2017). Parent knowledge of children’s sleep: A systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 31, 39-47. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2016.01.002

Edited Book - Other

Meech, R., Morgan, J., Coughlan, E., Say, J., . . ., Grimwood, K., Elder, D., & et al (Eds.). (2004). New Zealand Herpes Foundation: Guidelines for the management of genital herpes in New Zealand (7th ed.). Auckland, New Zealand: Viral Sexually Transmitted Infection Education Foundation, 42p.

^ Top of page

Chapter in Book - Research

Taylor, B., & Elder, D. (2012). Sudden unexpected death in infancy. In M. South & D. Isaacs (Eds.), Practical paediatrics. (7th ed.) (pp. 123-129). Edinburgh, UK: Churchill Livingstone.

^ Top of page

Chapter in Book - Other

Elder, D. (2004). Neonatal burnout. In R. Fenwicke (Ed.), In practice: The lives of New Zealand women doctors in the 21st century. (pp. 89-100). Auckland: Random House New Zealand.

^ Top of page

Journal - Research Article

MacFarlane, M., Mitchell, E. A., Thompson, J. M. D., Lawton, B., Zuccollo, J., Elder, D., Taylor, B., McDonald, G., … Fleming, P. (2018). Smoking in pregnancy a key factor for sudden infant death among Māori. Acta Paediatrica, 107(11), 1924-1931. doi: 10.1111/apa.14431

Wellington, G., Elder, D., & Campbell, A. (2018). 24-hour oxygen saturation recordings in preterm infants: Editing artefact. Acta Paediatrica. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/apa.14293

Roberts, T., Campbell, A., Larsen, P., & Elder, D. (2017). Preterm infants at discharge: Nap polysomnography versus 24-hour oximetry. Acta Paediatrica, 106(111), 1754-1759. doi: 10.1111/apa.13900

McDowall, P. S., Galland, B. C., Campbell, A. J., & Elder, D. E. (2017). Parent knowledge of children’s sleep: A systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 31, 39-47. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2016.01.002

Muller, D., Signal, L., Elder, D., & Gander, P. (2017). Environmental and behavioural factors associated with school children's sleep in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 53(1), 68-74. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13268

Mitchell, E. A., Thompson, J. M. D., Zuccollo, J., MacFarlane, M., Taylor, B., Elder, D., … Baker, N., McDonald, G., Lawton, B., … Fleming, P. (2017). The combination of bed sharing and maternal smoking leads to a greatly increased risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy: The New Zealand SUDI Nationwide Case Control Study. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130(1456), 52-64. Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Berry, M. J., Saito-Benz, M., Gray, C., Dyson, R. M., Dellabarca, P., Ebmeier, S., … Elder, D. E., & Richardson, V. F. (2017). Outcomes of 23- and 24-weeks gestation infants in Wellington, New Zealand: A single centre experience. Scientific Reports, 7, 12769. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12911-5

McDowall, P. S., Elder, D. E., & Campbell, A. J. (2017). Relationship between parent knowledge of child sleep, and child sleep practices and problems: A pilot study in a children's hospital cohort. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 53(8), 788-793. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13542

Wellington, G., Campbell, A. J., & Elder, D. E. (2016). Oximetry for preterm infants at neonatal discharge: What is current practice in New Zealand and Australia? Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 52(3), 333-337. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13079

McDowall, P. S., Campbell, A., & Elder, D. (2016). Parent knowledge of child sleep: A pilot study in a children's hospital cohort. Sleep Medicine, 21, 57-62. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2016.01.014

D'Souza, A. J., Russell, M., Wood, B., Signal, L., & Elder, D. (2016). Attitudes to physical punishment of children are changing. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 101(8), 690-693. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2015-310119

Galland, B., Spruyt, K., Dawes, P., McDowall, P. S., Elder, D., & Schaughency, E. (2015). Sleep disordered breathing and academic performance: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 136(4), e934-e946. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-1677

Galland, B. C., & Elder, D. E. (2014). Sudden unexpected death in infancy: Biological mechanisms. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, 15(4), 287-292. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2014.09.003

Elder, D. E., Campbell, A. J., & Galletly, D. (2013). Current definitions for neonatal apnoea: Are they evidence based? Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 49(9), E388-E396. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12247

Gibbs, S., Wiltshire, E., & Elder, D. (2013). Nocturnal sleep measured by actigraphy in children with Prader-Willi syndrome. Journal of Pediatrics, 162(4), 765-769. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.09.019

Elder, D. E. (2013). Sleep position does not appear to influence the risk of extreme cardiorespiratory events in vulnerable infants [Commentary]. Evidence-Based Nursing, 16(2), 51-52. doi: 10.1136/eb-2012-101003

Elder, D. E., Larsen, P. D., Campbell, A. J., & Galletly, D. C. (2012). Cardioventilatory coupling and inter-breath variability in children referred for polysomnography. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 181(1), 1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2012.01.006

Gibson, R., Elder, D., & Gander, P. (2012). Actigraphic sleep and developmental progress of one-year-old infants. Sleep & Biological Rhythms, 10(2), 77-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8425.2011.00525.x

Galland, B. C., Taylor, B. J., Elder, D. E., & Herbison, P. (2012). Normal sleep patterns in infants and children: A systematic review of observational studies. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 16(3), 213-222. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2011.06.001

Zwimpfer, L., & Elder, D. (2012). Talking to and being with babies: The nurse-infant relationship as a pain management tool. Neonatal, Paediatric, and Child Health Nursing, 15(3), 10-14.

Gibson, R., Gander, P., & Elder, D. (2012). Factors differentiating infants identified by parents as problem sleepers, and those that are not. Sleep & Biological Rhythms, 10(1), 46-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8425.2011.00517.x

Galland, B. C., Elder, D. E., & Taylor, B. J. (2012). Interventions with a sleep outcome for children with cerebral palsy or a post-traumatic brain injury: A systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 16(6), 561-573. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2012.01.007

Chiu, M., Elder, D., & Zuccollo, J. (2012). Gliosis in neonatal SUDI cases. Acta Paediatrica, 101(1), 30-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02413.x

Elder, D. E., Campbell, A. J., Larsen, P. D., & Galletly, D. (2011). Respiratory variability in preterm and term infants: Effect of sleep state, position and age. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 175(2), 234-238. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2010.11.011

Elder, D. E., Whale, J., Galletly, D., & Campbell, A. J. (2011). Respiratory events in preterm infants prior to discharge: With and without clinically concerning apnoea. Sleep & Breathing, 15, 867-873. doi: 10.1007/s11325-010-0457-x

Elder, D. E., Campbell, A. J., & Galletly, D. (2011). Effect of position on oxygen saturation and requirement in convalescent preterm infants. Acta Paediatrica, 100(5), 661-665. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02157.x

Elder, D. E., Larsen, P. D., Galletly, D. C., & Campbell, A. J. (2010). Cardioventilatory coupling in preterm and term infants: Effect of position and sleep state. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 174(1-2), 128-134. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2010.05.012

Carey, R., Healy, C., & Elder, D. E. (2010). Foreign body sexual assault complicated by rectovaginal fistula [Case report]. Journal of Forensic & Legal Medicine, 17(3), 161-163. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2009.09.009

Elder, D. E., Wong, A., & Zuccollo, J. M. (2009). Risk factors for and timing of death of extremely preterm infants. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 49(4), 407-410. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2009.01033.x

Escott, A., Elder, D. E., & Zuccollo, J. M. (2009). Sudden unexpected infant death and bedsharing: Referrals to the Wellington Coroner 1997-2006. New Zealand Medical Journal, 122(1298). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/122-1298/3686/content.pdf

Wong, A., Elder, D., & Zuccollo, J. (2008). Changes in cause of neonatal death over a decade. New Zealand Medical Journal, 121(1277). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/121-1277/3142/content.pdf

Elder, D. E., Larsen, P., & Zuccollo, J. M. (2008). Failure of apnea monitoring during bed-sharing. Forensic Science, Medicine, & Pathology, 4(3), 167-169. doi: 10.1007/s12024-008-9026-z

Crowther, C. A., Doyle, L. W., Haslam, R. R., Hiller, J. E., Harding, J. E., Robinson, J. S., for the ACTORDS Study Group, including Reid, R., Austin, N., Darlow, B., Poad, D., Broadbent, R., Wilson, D., Sangalli, M., Elder, D., & Richardson, V. (2007). Outcomes at 2 years of age after repeat doses of antenatal corticosteroids. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(12), 1179-1189.

Elder, D. E. (2007). Interpretation of anogenital findings in the living child: Implications for the paediatric forensic autopsy. Journal of Forensic & Legal Medicine, 14, 482-488. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2007.03.005

Elder, D. E., Russell, L., Sheppard, D., Purdie, G. L., & Campbell, A. J. (2007). Car seat test for preterm infants: Comparison with polysomnography. Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal & Neonatal Edition, 92, F468-F472.

Crowther, C. A., Haslam, R. R., Hiller, J. E., Doyle, L. W., Robinson, J. S., for the Australasian Collaborative Trial of Repeat Doses of Steroids (ACTORDS) Study Group, including Reid, R., Austin, N., Darlow, B., Mogridge, N., Broadbent, R., Patel, F., Tout, S., Wilson, D., Sangalli, M., & Elder, D. (2006). Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome after repeat exposure to antenatal corticosteroids: A randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 367, 1913-1919. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68846-6

Elder, D. E., & Zuccollo, J. M. (2005). Autopsy after death due to extreme prematurity. Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal & Neonatal Edition, 90, F270-F272.

Elder, D. E., Zuccollo, J. M., & Stanley, T. V. (2005). Neonatal death after hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy: Does a postmortem add to the final diagnoses? BJOG, 112, 935-940.

Elder, D. E., Campbell, A. J., & Doherty, D. A. (2005). Prone or supine for infants with chronic lung disease at neonatal discharge? Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 41, 180-185.

Larsen, P. D., Elder, D. E., Tzeng, Y.-C., Campbell, A., & Galletly, D. C. (2004). Fractal characteristics of breath to breath timing in sleeping infants. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 139(3), 263-270.

Halsted, S., & Elder, D. E. (2001). Delays in the investigation of allegations of child sexual abuse in the Wellington city district 1995-1996: A retrospective study. New Zealand Medical Journal, 114, 33-35.

Tuthill, D., Elder, D. E., Pringle, K. C., Richardson, V. F., Selby, R. E., & Robinson, R. (2000). Posterior urethral valves: Failure of antenatal diagnosis. New Zealand Medical Journal, 113, 333-334.

Bourchier, D., Darlow, B. A., Corban, J., Mildenhall, R., Broadbent, R. S., Doran, J., … Elder, D. E., & Knight, D. (2000). Routine examination of the newborn. Position statement of the Fetus and Newborn Committee of the Paediatric Society of New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 113, 361-363.

Darlow, B. A., Winterbourn, C. C., Inder, T. E., Graham, P. J., Harding, J. E., Weston, P. J., Austin, N. C., Elder, D. E., Mogridge, N., Buss, I. H., & Sluis, K. B. (2000). The effect of selenium supplementation on outcome in very low birth weight infants: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Pediatrics, 136, 473-480.

Elder, D. E., Hagan, R., Evans, S. F., Benninger, H. R., & French, N. (1999). Hospital admissions in the first year of life in very preterm infants. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 35, 145-150.

Galland, B. C., Taylor, B. J., Bolton, D. P., Elder, D. E., & Dempster, A. G. (1997). Experimental pathophysiological data from the piglet sleeping under bedclothes: findings compared to SIDS and to heat stroke. Journal of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome & Infant Mortality, 2(1), 29-45.

Elder, D. E., Bolton, D. P., Dempster, A. G., Taylor, B. J., & Broadbent, R. S. (1996). Pathophysiology of overheating in a piglet model: findings compared with sudden infant death syndrome. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 32, 281-284.

More publications...