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1.  Etiology of Neonatal Blood Stream Infections in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia 
Neonatal blood stream infections (BSI) are major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. It is crucial to continuously monitor the local epidemiology of neonatal BSI to detect any changes in patterns of infection and susceptibility to various antibiotics.
To examine the etiology of BSI in two neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in the Republic of Georgia, a resource-poor country, and to determine antibiotic susceptibility of the isolated organisms.
Cross-sectional study among all septic infants was conducted in NICU of two pediatric hospitals in Tbilisi between 09/2003-09/2004.
A total of 200 infants with clinical signs of sepsis were admitted in two NICUs. Of these, 126 (63%) had confirmed bacteremia. Mortality rate was 34%. A total of 98 (78%) of 126 recovered isolates were Gram-negative organisms, and 28 (22%) were Gram-positive. Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most common pathogen, accounting for 36 (29%) of 126 isolates, followed by Enterobacter cloacae – 19 (15%), and S. aureus – 15 (12%). The gram-negative organisms showed high degree of resistance to commonly used antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, and comparatively low resistance to amikacin, ciprofloxacin, carbapenems, and gentamicin; 40% of S. aureus isolates were methicillin resistant (MRSA). In multivariate analysis only umbilical discharge was a significant risk factor for having positive blood culture at admission to NICU (PR=2.25, 95% CI 1.82-2.77).
Neonatal BSI was mainly caused by gram-negative organisms, which are developing resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Understanding the local epidemiology of neonatal BSI can lead to the development of better medical practices, especially more appropriate choices for empiric antibiotic therapy, and may contribute to improvement of infection control practices.
PMCID: PMC2695829  PMID: 19058989
blood stream infections; Republic of Georgia; neonatal
2.  Variation in the use of alternative levels of hospital care for newborns in a managed care organization. 
Health Services Research  2000;34(7):1535-1553.
OBJECTIVE(S): To assess the extent to which variation in the use of neonatal intensive care resources in a managed care organization is a consequence of variation in neonatal health risks and/or variation in the organization and delivery of medical care to newborns. STUDY DESIGN: Data were collected on a cohort of all births from four sites in Kaiser Permanente by retrospective medical chart abstraction of the birth admission. Likelihood of admission into a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is estimated by logistic regression. Durations of NICU stays and of hospital stay following birth are estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression. RESULTS: The likelihood of admission into NICU and the duration of both NICU care and hospital stay are proportional to the degree of illness and complexity of diagnosis. Adjusting for variation in health risks across sites, however, does not fully account for observed variation in NICU admission rates or for length of hospital stay. One site has a distinct pattern of high rates of NICU admissions; another site has a distinct pattern of low rates of NICU admission but long durations of hospital stay for full-term newborns following NICU admission as well as for all newborns managed in normal care nurseries. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial variations exist among sites in the risk-adjusted likelihood of NICU admission and in durations of NICU stay and hospital stay. Hospital and NICU affiliation (Kaiser Permanente versus contract) or affiliation of the neonatologists (Kaiser Permanente versus contract) could not explain the variation in use of alternative levels of hospital care. The best explanation for these variations in neonatal resource use appears to be the extent to which neonatology and pediatric practices differ in their policies with respect to the management of newborns of minimal to moderate illness.
PMCID: PMC1975663  PMID: 10737452
3.  Risk Factors for Post-NICU Discharge Mortality Among Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
The Journal of Pediatrics  2012;161(1):70-74.e2.
To evaluate maternal and neonatal risk factors associated with post-neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) discharge mortality among ELBW infants.
Study design
This is a retrospective analysis of extremely low birth weight (<1,000 g) and <27 weeks' gestational age infants born in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network sites from January 2000 to June 2007. Infants were tracked until death or 18–22 months corrected age. Infants who died between NICU discharge and the 18–22 month follow-up visit were classified as post-NICU discharge mortality. Association of maternal and infant risk factors with post-NICU discharge mortality was determined using logistic regression analysis. A prediction model with six significant predictors was developed and validated.
5,364 infants survived to NICU discharge. 557 (10%) infants were lost to follow-up, and 107 infants died following NICU discharge. Post-NICU discharge mortality rate was 22.3 per 1000 ELBW infants. In the prediction model, African-American race, unknown maternal health insurance, and hospital stay ≥120 days significantly increased risk, and maternal exposure to intra-partum antibiotics was associated with decreased risk of post-NICU discharge mortality.
We identified African-American race, unknown medical insurance and prolonged NICU stay as risk factors associated with post-NICU discharge mortality among ELBW infants.
PMCID: PMC3366175  PMID: 22325187
extremely preterm infants; discharge; mortality; predictive model
4.  Variations in mortality rates among Canadian neonatal intensive care units 
Most previous reports of variations in mortality rates for infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) have involved small groups of subpopulations, such as infants with very low birth weight. Our aim was to examine the incidence and causes of death and the risk-adjusted variation in mortality rates for a large group of infants of all birth weights admitted to Canadian NICUs.
We examined the deaths that occurred among all 19 265 infants admitted to 17 tertiary-level Canadian NICUs from January 1996 to October 1997. We used multivariate analysis to examine the risk factors associated with death and the variations in mortality rates, adjusting for risks in the baseline population, severity of illness on admission and whether the infant was outborn (born at a different hospital from the one where the NICU was located).
The overall mortality rate was 4% (795 infants died). Forty percent of the deaths (n = 318) occurred within 2 days of NICU admission, 50% (n = 397) within 3 days and 75% (n = 596) within 12 days. The major conditions associated with death were gestational age less than 24 weeks (59 deaths [7%]), gestational age 24–28 weeks (325 deaths [41%]), outborn status (340 deaths [42%]), congenital anomalies (270 deaths [34%]), surgery (141 deaths [18%]), infection (108 deaths [14%]), hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (128 deaths [16%]) and small for gestational age (i.e., less than the third percentile) (77 deaths [10%]). There was significant variation in the risk-adjusted mortality rates (range 1.6% to 5.5%) among the 17 NICUs.
Most NICU deaths occurred within the first few days after admission. Preterm birth, outborn status and congenital anomalies were the conditions most frequently associated with death in the NICU. The significant variation in risk-adjusted mortality rates emphasizes the importance of risk adjustment for valid comparison of NICU outcomes.
PMCID: PMC99269  PMID: 11826939
5.  Staphylococcus Aureus- The Predominant Pathogen in the Neonatal ICU of a Tertiary Care Hospital in Amritsar, India 
Background: An early treatment and the appropriate and the rational use of antibiotics would minimize the risk of severe morbidity and mortality in neonatal sepsis, and reduce the emergence of multi-drug resistant organisms in intensive care units. For the success of an early empiric treatment, a periodic review of the cases to assess any changing trends in the infecting organisms and their antimicrobial susceptibility is important.
AIM: To study the most commonly encountered bacterial pathogens which caused neonatal sepsis and their sensitivity patterns, so that guidelines could be prepared for a rational antibiotic therapy.
Setting and Design: This was a retrospective study which was conducted in the Department of Microbiology and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at SGRDIMSAR, Amritsar, during June 2011 to June 2012.
Methods and Materials: Blood specimens for culture were drawn from 311 newborns who were admitted in an NICU with sepsis. The specimens were inoculated into brain heart infusion broth. Subcultures were performed on days 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10. The isolates were identified by doing standard biochemical tests. The antibiotic resistance patterns of the isolates were studied by the Kirby Bauer disc diffusion technique.
Results: A total of 131 organisms were isolated from the 311 blood cultures. These included Staphylococcus aureus (n=68), Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) (n=30), Klebsiella pneumoniae (n=10), Acinetobacter baumannii (n=9), Escherichia coli (n=05), Enterobacter cloacae (n=04), Citrobacter diversus (n=02), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=02) and Candida (n=01). Staphylococcus aureus was the main pathogen in both early and late-onset sepsis. On antibiotic sensitivity testing, 57.35% of the Staphylococcus aureus isolates were found to be methicillin resistant. More than 90% gram negative rods were resistant to amikacin. The resistance to the third generation cephalosporins varied between 50-55%. The resistance to ciprofloxacin was quite high; however, most of the isolates were susceptible to levofloxacin. A majority of the isolates were susceptible to piperacillin- tazobactum and imipenem.
Conclusion: The present study emphasized the importance of periodic surveys on the microbial flora which was encountered in particular neonatal settings to recognize the trend.
PMCID: PMC3576753  PMID: 23450439
Septicaemia; Drug resistance; Antimicrobial sensitivity tests; S.aureus neonate; India
6.  A comparison of Wisconsin Neonatal Intensive Care Units with National data on outcomes and practices 
Improvements in neonatal care over the past three decades have resulted in increased survival of infants at lower birthweights and gestational ages. However, outcomes and practices vary considerably between hospitals.
To describe maternal and infant characteristics, NICU practices, morbidity, and mortality in Wisconsin neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and to compare outcomes in Wisconsin to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development network of large academic medical center NICUs.
Design and Setting:
The Newborn Lung Project Statewide Cohort is a prospective observational study of all very low birthweight (≤ 1500 grams) infants admitted during 2003 and 2004 to the 16 level III NICUs in Wisconsin. Anonymous data were collected for all admitted infants (N=1463).
Main outcome measures:
Major neonatal morbidities, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis, and retinopathy of prematurity were evaluated.
The overall incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia was 24% (range 8-56% between NICUs); intraventricular hemorrhage incidence was 23% (9-41%); the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis was 7% (0-21%); and the incidence of grade III or higher retinopathy of prematurity was 10% (0-35%).
The incidence rates of major neonatal morbidities in Wisconsin were similar to those of a national network of academic NICUs.
PMCID: PMC2650395  PMID: 19180870
7.  Regionalization of neonatal intensive care in Korea 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(12):481-488.
In the current era of low-birth rate in Korea, it is important to improve our neonatal intensive care and to establish an integrative system including a regional care network adequate for both high-risk pregnancies and high-risk newborn infants. Therefore, official discussion for nation-wide augmentation, proper leveling, networking, and regionalization of neonatal and perinatal care is urgently needed. In this report, I describe the status of neonatal intensive care in Korea, as well as nationwide flow of transfer of high-risk newborn infants and pregnant women, and present a short review of the regionalization of neonatal and perinatal care in the Unites States and Japan. It is necessary not only to increase the number of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) beds, medical resources and manpower, but also to create a strong network system with appropriate leveling of NICUs and regionalization. A systematic approach toward perinatal care, that includes both high-risk pregnancies and newborns with continuous support from the government, is also needed, which can be spearheaded through the establishment of an integrative advisory board to propel systematic care forward.
PMCID: PMC3274654  PMID: 22323904
High-risk newborns; High-risk pregnancy; Perinatal center; Transport; Transfer; Korea
8.  Prevalence of Hearing Loss in Newborns Admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit 
Hearing is essential for humans to communicate with one another. Early diagnosis of hearing loss and intervention in neonates and infants can reduce developmental problems. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of hearing impairment in newborns admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and analyze the associated risk factors.
Materials and Methods:
This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the prevalence of hearing loss in neonates who were admitted to the NICU at Nemazee Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences between January 2006 and January 2007. Auditory function was examined using otoacoustic emission (OAE) followed by auditory brainstem response (ABR) tests. Relevant potential risk factors were considered and neonates with a family history of hearing loss and craniofacial abnormality were excluded. For statistical analysis logistic regression, the chi-squared test, and Fisher’s exact test were used.
Among the 124 neonates included in the study, 17 (13.7%) showed hearing loss in the short term. There was a significant statistical relationship between gestational age of less than 36 weeks (P=0.013), antibiotic therapy (P= 0.033), oxygen therapy (P=0.04), and hearing loss. On the contrary, there was no significant relationship between hearing loss and use of a ventilator, or the presence of sepsis, hyperbilirubinemia, congenial heart disease, transient tachypnea of newborn, congenital pneumonia, or respiratory distress syndrome.
Auditory function in neonates who are admitted to a NICU, especially those treated with oxygen or antibiotics and those born prematurely, should be assessed during their stay in hospital. The importance of early diagnosis of hearing loss and intervention in these neonates and avoidance of any unnecessary oxygen or antibiotic therapy needs to be further promoted.
PMCID: PMC3846223  PMID: 24303398
Auditory brainstem response; Hearing loss; Newborn; Neonatal intensive care unit; Otoacoustic emission
9.  Molecular epidemiology of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus carriage in neonates admitted to an intensive care unit in Brazil 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:572.
Nasal colonization with coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) has been described as a risk factor for subsequent systemic infection. In this study, we evaluated the genetic profile of CoNS isolates colonizing the nares of children admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
We assessed CoNS carriage at admittance and discharge among newborns admitted to a NICU from July 2007 through May 2008 in one of the major municipalities of Brazil. Isolates were screened on mannitol salt agar and tryptic soy broth and tested for susceptibility to antimicrobials using the disc diffusion method. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to determine the species, the presence of the mecA gene, and to perform SCCmec typing. S. epidermidis and S. haemolyticus isolated from the same child at both admission and discharge were characterized by PFGE.
Among 429 neonates admitted to the NICU, 392 (91.4%) had nasal swabs collected at both admission and discharge. The incidence of CoNS during the hospitalization period was 55.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 50.9-60.7). The most frequently isolated species were S. haemolyticus (38.3%) and S.epidermidis (38.0%). Multidrug resistance (MDR) was detected in 2.2% and 29.9% of the CoNS isolates, respectively at admittance and discharge (p = 0.053). The mecA gene was more prevalent among strains isolated at discharge (83.6%) than those isolated at admission (60%); overall, SCCmec type I was isolated most frequently. The length of hospitalization was associated with colonization by MDR isolates (p < 0.005). Great genetic diversity was observed among S. epidermidis and S. haemolyticus.
NICU represents an environment of risk for colonization by MDR CoNS. Neonates admitted to the NICU can become a reservoir of CoNS strains with the potential to spread MDR strains into the community.
PMCID: PMC4028975  PMID: 24308773
Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus; mecA; SCCmec; Neonatal intensive care units; Neonates
10.  Balancing preterm infants’ developmental needs with parents’ readiness for skin-to-skin care: A phenomenological study 
The aim of this article is to articulate the essence and constituents of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses’ experiences in enacting skin-to-skin care (SSC) for preterm newborns and their parents. SSC is commonly employed in high-tech NICUs, which entails a movement from maternal–infant separation. Parents’ opportunities for performing the practice have been addressed to NICU staff, with attitude and environment having crucial influence. The study was carried out with a reflective lifeworld research approach. Data were collected in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by open-dialogue interviews with a purposive sample of 18 NICU nurses to achieve the essence of and variation within the phenomenon. NICU nurses experience balancing what they consider preterm newborns’ current and developmental needs, with readiness in both parents for SSC. They share an experience of a change in the history of NICU care to increased focus on the meaning of proximity and touch for the infants’ development. The phenomenon of enacting SSC is characterized by a double focus with steady attention to signals from both parents and newborns. Thereby, a challenge emerges from the threshold of getting started as the catalyst to SSC.
PMCID: PMC3710397  PMID: 23849269
Reflective lifeworld research; NICU nurses; Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC); Kangaroo Care (KC); proximity; skin-to-skin care (SSC); touch
11.  Necrotizing Enterocolitis Risk 
Advances in Neonatal Care  2012;12(2):77-89.
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common cause of gastrointestinal-related morbidity and mortality in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Its onset is sudden and the smallest, most premature infants are the most vulnerable. Necrotizing enterocolitis is a costly disease, accounting for nearly 20% of NICU costs annually. Necrotizing enterocolitis survivors requiring surgery often stay in the NICU more than 90 days and are among those most likely to stay more than 6 months. Significant variations exist in the incidence across regions and units. Although the only consistent independent predictors for NEC remain prematurity and formula feeding, others exist that could increase risk when combined. Awareness of NEC risk factors and adopting practices to reduce NEC risk, including human milk feeding, the use of feeding guidelines, and probiotics, have been shown to reduce the incidence of NEC. The purpose of this review is to examine the state of the science on NEC risk factors and make recommendations for practice and research.
PMCID: PMC3357630  PMID: 22469959
necrotizing enterocolitis; neonatal; nursing; risk assessment; risk profile
12.  Early and Late Onset Sepsis in Very-Low-Birth-Weight Infants from a Large Group of Neonatal Intensive Care Units 
Early human development  2012;88(Suppl 2):S69-S74.
Very-low-birth-weight (VLBW, <1500 g birth weight) infants are at high risk for both early- and late-onset sepsis. Prior studies have observed a predominance of gram-negative organisms as a cause of early-onset sepsis and gram-positive organisms as a cause of late-onset sepsis. These reports are limited to large, academic neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and may not reflect findings in other units. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk factors for sepsis, the causative organisms, and mortality following infection in a large and diverse sample of NICUs.
We analyzed the results of all cultures obtained from VLBW infants admitted to 313 NICUs from 1997 to 2010.
Over 108,000 VLBW infants were admitted during the study period. Early-onset sepsis occurred in 1032 infants, and late-onset sepsis occurred in 12,204 infants. Gram-negative organisms were the most commonly isolated pathogens in early-onset sepsis, and gram-positive organisms were most commonly isolated in late-onset sepsis. Early- and late-onset sepsis were associated with increased risk of death controlling for other confounders (odds ratio 1.45 [95% confidence interval 1.21, 1.73], and OR 1.30 [95% CI 1.21, 1.40], respectively).
This is the largest report of sepsis in VLBW infants to date. Incidence for early-onset sepsis and late-onset sepsis has changed little over this 14-year period, and overall mortality in VLBW infants with early- and late-onset sepsis is higher than in infants with negative cultures.
PMCID: PMC3513766  PMID: 22633519
early-onset sepsis; late-onset sepsis; very-low-birth-weight infants
13.  Comparison of 16S rRNA Gene PCR and BACTEC 9240 for Detection of Neonatal Bacteremia 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(7):2574-2578.
Ten percent of infants born in the United States are admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICU) annually. Approximately one-half of these admissions are from term infants (>34 weeks of gestation) at risk for systemic infection. Most of the term infants are not infected but rather have symptoms consistent with other medical conditions that mimic sepsis. The current standard of care for evaluating bacterial sepsis in the newborn is performing blood culturing and providing antibiotic therapy while awaiting the 48-h preliminary result of culture. Implementing a more rapid means of ruling out sepsis in term newborns could result in shorter NICU stays and less antibiotic usage. The purpose of this feasibility study was to compare the utility of PCR to that of conventional culture. To this end, a total of 548 paired blood samples collected from infants admitted to the NICU for suspected sepsis were analyzed for bacterial growth using the BACTEC 9240 instrument and for the bacterial 16S rRNA gene using a PCR assay which included a 5-h preamplification culturing step. The positivity rates by culture and PCR were 25 (4.6%) and 27 (4.9%) positive specimens out of a total of 548 specimens, respectively. The comparison revealed sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 96.0, 99.4, 88.9, and 99.8%, respectively, for PCR. In summary, this PCR-based approach, requiring as little as 9 h of turnaround time and blood volumes as small as 200 μl, correlated well with conventional blood culture results obtained for neonates suspected of having bacterial sepsis.
PMCID: PMC86972  PMID: 10878046
14.  Systemic Hypertension Requiring Treatment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit 
The Journal of pediatrics  2013;163(1):84-88.
To determine the difference in the risk factors for systemic hypertension in preterm and term infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Study design
Data were collected from an existing database of NICU children and confirmed by chart-review. Systemic hypertension was defined when 3 separate measurements of systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure were >95th% percentile and an anti-hypertensive medication was administered for > 2 weeks in the NICU.
From 4,203 infants, we identified 53 (1.3%) with treated hypertension; of whom 74% were preterm, 11% required surgical intervention and 85% required medications upon discharge. The pressure of a patent ductus arteriosus, umbilical catheterization, left ventricular hypertrophy, hypertensive medication at discharge and mortality was similar between the term and preterm. The major risk factors for preterm infants, especially those below 28 weeks gestation, were bronchopulmonary dysplasia and iatrogenic factors, but, in term infants, they were systemic diseases. Term infants were diagnosed with hypertension earlier during hospitalization, had a shorter duration of stay in NICU, and had higher incidence of hypertension needing more than 3 medications than preterm infants.
Perinatal risk factors are significant contributors to infantile hypertension. Term infants were diagnosed with hypertension earlier, had a shorter duration of stay, and had a higher incidence of resistant hypertension than preterm infants.
PMCID: PMC3675186  PMID: 23394775
Hypertension; risk factors; race; blood pressure; prematurity; infants; neonates; etiology
15.  Analysis of High-Risk Infant Births and Their Mortality: Ten Years' Data from Chonnam National University Hospital 
Chonnam Medical Journal  2011;47(1):31-38.
Prematurity and low birth weight are major factors associated with neonatal morbidity and mortality, and their incidence is not decreasing despite an annual decrease in the total number of live births in Korea. The objective of this study was to establish a strategy to reduce neonatal mortality by analyzing the clinical characteristics of high-risk infant births along with their mortality and causes of death. We retrospectively surveyed the medical records of infants born at Chonnam National University Hospital and of patients admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for 10 years from October 1999 to December 2008. Premature and low birth weight infants were almost half of the live births, and their NICU admission rate increased with increases in the numbers of outborns and multiples. Also, their mortality decreased dramatically over the past 10 years. About 60% of deaths occurred within 1 week of life, and the causes of death were mostly related to prematurity. Perinatal asphyxia was the major cause of death in infants less than 1 week old, whereas sepsis was the major cause after 4 weeks of age. The major cause of death was sepsis in premature or low birth weight infants and perinatal asphyxia in term or normal weight infants. The major cause of death was sepsis in inborns and perinatal asphyxia in outborns. Our results suggest that medical personnel training for immediate postnatal care including neonatal resuscitation, infection control, and a systematic team approach to regionalization are all needed to reduce the mortality rate.
PMCID: PMC3214855  PMID: 22111054
Premature birth; Cause of death; Low birth weight; Mortality
16.  A portable near infrared spectroscopy system for bedside monitoring of newborn brain 
Newborns with critical health conditions are monitored in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). In NICU, one of the most important problems that they face is the risk of brain injury. There is a need for continuous monitoring of newborn's brain function to prevent any potential brain injury. This type of monitoring should not interfere with intensive care of the newborn. Therefore, it should be non-invasive and portable.
In this paper, a low-cost, battery operated, dual wavelength, continuous wave near infrared spectroscopy system for continuous bedside hemodynamic monitoring of neonatal brain is presented. The system has been designed to optimize SNR by optimizing the wavelength-multiplexing parameters with special emphasis on safety issues concerning burn injuries. SNR improvement by utilizing the entire dynamic range has been satisfied with modifications in analog circuitry.
Results and Conclusion
As a result, a shot-limited SNR of 67 dB has been achieved for 10 Hz temporal resolution. The system can operate more than 30 hours without recharging when an off-the-shelf 1850 mAh-7.2 V battery is used. Laboratory tests with optical phantoms and preliminary data recorded in NICU demonstrate the potential of the system as a reliable clinical tool to be employed in the bedside regional monitoring of newborn brain metabolism under intensive care.
PMCID: PMC1112605  PMID: 15862131
17.  Correlation of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Performance Across Multiple Measures of Quality of Care 
JAMA pediatrics  2013;167(1):47-54.
To examine whether high performance on one measure of quality is associated with high performance on others and to develop a data-driven explanatory model of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) performance.
We conducted a cross-sectional data analysis of a statewide perinatal care database. Risk-adjusted NICU ranks were computed for each of 8 measures of quality selected based on expert input. Correlations across measures were tested using the Pearson correlation coefficient. Exploratory factor analysis was used to determine whether underlying factors were driving the correlations.
Twenty-two regional NICUs in California.
In total, 5445 very low-birth-weight infants cared for between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2007.
Main Outcomes Measures
Pneumothorax, growth velocity, health care–associated infection, antenatal corticosteroid use, hypothermia during the first hour of life, chronic lung disease, mortality in the NICU, and discharge on any human breast milk.
The NICUs varied substantially in their clinical performance across measures of quality. Of 28 unit-level correlations only 6 were significant (P < .05). Correlations between pairs of quality measures were strong (ρ > .5) for 1 pair, moderate (.3 < |ρ| <
.5) for 8 pairs, weak (.1 < |ρ| < .3) for 5 pairs and negligible (|ρ| < .1) for 14 pairs. Exploratory factor analysis revealed 4 underlying factors of quality in this sample. Pneumothorax, mortality in the NICU, and antenatal corticosteroid use loaded on factor 1; growth velocity and health care–associated infection loaded on factor 2; chronic lung disease loaded on factor 3; and discharge on any human breast milk loaded on factor 4.
In this sample, the ability of individual measures of quality to explain overall quality of neonatal intensive care was modest.
PMCID: PMC4028032  PMID: 23403539
infant; newborn; quality of care; performance measurement
18.  New Predictors for Advanced Retinopathy of Prematurity among Neonates in Tehran/Iran 
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2012;22(3):375-384.
Since a new epidemic (third wave) of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) sensed throughout the world in recent years, we aimed to assess newer risk factors for advanced ROP which needs treatment in Iranian neonates as a new target output of various neonatal care for this serious disease of newborn infants especially those born prematurely.
In an analytic cross-sectional study all neonates <1500 g birth weight and/or <32 weeks gestational age admitted to our NICU as a tertiary level intensive care unit in Milad Hospital, Tehran, Iran during June 2006-June 2007 were included. All data were extracted from medical records and compared in two groups with or without treatment.
Seventy one neonate infants entered our study. Twelve neonates (16.9%) progressed to advanced ROP. Final multivariate analysis model revealed that mean leukocyte counts during first 14 days of life (P=0.04), transfusions number (P=0.01) and hypocapnic episodes during first 14 days of life (P=0.02) were significantly different between the two groups of infants independently, even after simultaneous adjustment.
Based on our findings, more amenable risk factors should be approached regarding more careful modulation of such overlooked risk factors which may lessen the burden of prematurity.
PMCID: PMC3564095  PMID: 23400326
Neonate; Retinal Surgery; Retinopathy of Prematurity; Risk Factor; Very Low Birth Weight
19.  Risk factors for late-onset health care-associated bloodstream infections in patients in neonatal intensive care units 
There are few data comparing risk factors for catheter-related (CR) versus non-CR bloodstream infection (BSI) or for BSI caused by gram-positive versus gram-negative organisms. The aims of this study were to compare risk factors for CR versus non-CR BSI and to compare risk factors for BSI associated with gram-negative versus gram-positive organisms among infants hospitalized in two neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
Data were collected prospectively over a 2-year period to assess risk factors among 2,935 neonates from two NICUs.
Among all neonates, in addition to low birth weight and presence of a central venous catheter, hospitalization in NICU 1 (relative risk [RR]: 1.60, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1.14, 2.24) was a significant predictor of BSI. In neonates with a central catheter total parenteral nutrition (TPN) was a significant risk factor for BSI (RR: 4.69, 95% CI: 2.22, 9.87). Ventilator use was a significant risk factor for CR versus non-CR BSI (RR: 3.74, 95% CI: 1.87, 7.48), and significantly more CR BSI were caused by gram-positive (77.1%) than by gram-negative organisms (61.4%), P = .03.
This study confirmed that central venous catheters and low birth weight were risk factors for neonates with late-onset healthcare-associated BSI and further elucidated the potential risks associated with TPN and ventilator use in subgroups of neonates with BSI. Additional studies are needed to examine the incremental risk of TPN among infants with central venous catheters and to understand the link between CR BSI and ventilator use. Preventive strategies for BSI in neonates in NICUs should continue to focus on limiting the use of invasive devices.
PMCID: PMC2094724  PMID: 17433941
20.  Marked variation in newborn resuscitation practice: A national survey in the UK☆ 
Resuscitation  2012;83(5):607-611.
Although international newborn resuscitation guidance has been in force for some time, there are no UK data on current newborn resuscitation practices.
Establish delivery room (DR) resuscitation practices in the UK, and identify any differences between neonatal intensive care units (NICU), and other local neonatal services.
We conducted a structured two-stage survey of DR management, among UK neonatal units during 2009–2010 (n = 192). Differences between NICU services (tertiary level) and other local neonatal services (non-tertiary) were analysed using Fisher's exact and Student's t-tests.
There was an 89% response rate (n = 171). More tertiary NICUs institute DR CPAP than non-tertiary units (43% vs. 16%, P = 0.0001) though there was no significant difference in frequency of elective intubation and surfactant administration for preterm babies. More tertiary units commence DR resuscitation in air (62% vs. 29%, P < 0.0001) and fewer in 100% oxygen (11% vs. 41%, P < 0.0001). Resuscitation of preterm babies in particular, commences with air in 56% of tertiary units. Significantly more tertiary units use DR pulse oximeters (58% vs. 29%, P < 0.01) and titrate oxygen based on saturations. Almost all services use occlusive wrapping to maintain temperature for preterm infants.
In the UK, there are many areas of good evidence based DR practice. However, there is marked variation in management, including between units of different designation, suggesting a need to review practice to fulfil new resuscitation guidance, which will have training and resource implications.
PMCID: PMC3350052  PMID: 22245743
NICU, neonatal intensive care unit; DR, delivery room; ANNP, advanced neonatal nurse practitioner; PEEP, positive end expiratory pressure; CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure; NDAU, Neonatal Data Analysis Unit; NS, not statistically significant; Neonatal resuscitation; Survey; Practice variation
21.  Variations in rates of nosocomial infection among Canadian neonatal intensive care units may be practice-related 
BMC Pediatrics  2005;5:22.
Nosocomial infection (NI), particularly with positive blood or cerebrospinal fluid bacterial cultures, is a major cause of morbidity in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Rates of NI appear to vary substantially between NICUs. The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for NI, as well as the risk-adjusted variations in NI rates among Canadian NICUs.
From January 1996 to October 1997, data on demographics, intervention, illness severity and NI rates were submitted from 17 Canadian NICUs. Infants admitted at <4 days of age were included. NI was defined as a positive blood or cerebrospinal fluid culture after > 48 hrs in hospital.
765 (23.5%) of 3253 infants <1500 g and 328 (2.5%) of 13228 infants ≥1500 g developed at least one episode of NI. Over 95% of episodes were due to nosocomial bacteremia. Major morbidity was more common amongst those with NI versus those without. Mortality was more strongly associated with NI versus those without for infants ≥1500 g, but not for infants <1500 g. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that for infants <1500 g, risk factors for NI included gestation <29 weeks, outborn status, increased acuity on day 1, mechanical ventilation and parenteral nutrition. When NICUs were compared for babies <1500 g, the odds ratios for NI ranged from 0.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1 to 0.4) to 8.6 (95% CI 4.1 to 18.2) when compared to a reference site. This trend persisted after adjustment for risk factors, and was also found in larger babies.
Rates of nosocomial infection in Canadian NICUs vary considerably, even after adjustment for known risk factors. The implication is that this variation is due to differences in clinical practices and therefore may be amenable to interventions that alter practice.
PMCID: PMC1182378  PMID: 16004613
22.  Granulocyte Colony-stimulating Factor for Preterms with Sepsis and Neutropenia: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
Journal of Clinical Neonatology  2012;1(4):202-206.
Bacterial sepsis is one of the major causes of mortality in newborn infants. Mortality increases when sepsis is associated with neutropenia.
Materials and Methods:
We conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor on preterm neonates (gestational age (GA) <34 weeks) with sepsis and absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of <1500 cells/mm3. Mortality, duration of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) stay, hematological parameters (ANC, platelet count, and total leukocyte count) were compared between the two groups. The GCSF group (n=39) received GCSF intravenously in a single daily dose of 10 μg/kg/day in a 5% dextrose solution over 20-40 min for three consecutive days, while the control group (n=39) received placebo of an equivalent volume of 5% dextrose.
Baseline demographic profile among the two groups was comparable. Mortality rate in the GCSF group was significantly lower than in the control group (10% vs. 35%; P<0.05). By day 3 of treatment, ANC in the GCSF group was significantly higher (3521±327) compared to 2094±460 in the control group, with P value being <0.05. Duration of NICU stay also decreased significantly in the GCSF group.
The administration of GCSF in preterms with septicemia and neutropenia resulted in lower mortality rates. Further studies are required to confirm our results and establish this adjunctive therapy in neonatal sepsis.
PMCID: PMC3762052  PMID: 24027727
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor; neonates; neutropenia; preterm; septicemia
23.  Drug Use and HIV Risk Outcomes in Opioid-Injecting Men in the Republic of Georgia: Behavioral Treatment + Naltrexone compared to Usual Care 
Drug and Alcohol Dependence  2011;120(1-3):14-21.
To test the initial feasibility of a novel 22-week comprehensive intervention pairing behavioral treatment with naltrexone that aimed at engaging, retaining, and treating opioid-injecting men in the Republic of Georgia.
Forty opioid-injecting males and their drug-free female partners participated in a two-group randomized clinical trial at the field site of the Union Alternative Georgia, in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. The comprehensive intervention that paired behavioral treatment with naltrexone for the male participants (n=20) included counseling sessions using Motivational Interviewing for both the male participant and the couple, monetary incentives for drug abstinence, and research-supported detoxification followed by naltrexone treatment. Male participants in the usual care condition (n=20) had the opportunity to attend once-a-week individualized education sessions and upon request receive referrals to detoxification programs and aftercare that could or could not have included naltrexone. Outcome measures included entry into inpatient detoxification and naltrexone treatment, urine drug screening, reduction in illicit substance use, use of benzodiazepines, injection of buprenorphine, and needle and syringe sharing.
The comprehensive intervention condition showed significantly more weekly urine samples negative for illicit opioids during weeks 1 through 22 (7.0 v. 1.4; p<.001) and reported significant declines in use of benzodiazepines and injection of buprenorphine (both ps<.004).
The first behavioral treatment randomized clinical trial in the Republic of Georgia found that the use of tailored behavioral therapy paired with naltrexone is both feasible and efficacious for treating drug use and reducing HIV drug-risk behavior in Georgian men.
PMCID: PMC3377370  PMID: 21742445
opioid dependence; injection drug use; behavioral treatment; naltrexone; Republic of Georgia
24.  Outcome for newborn babies declined admission to a regional neonatal intensive care unit. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1982;57(5):334-337.
Between July 1979 and June 1980 the regional neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, received 170 requests from maternity units for the transfer of ill newborn babies. Most of the babies were suffering from respiratory failure. The initial request was declined in 65 babies because of overcrowding or lack of facilities at the NICU (n = 59), or because transfer was not justified on medical grounds (n = 6). Forty-two of the 65 babies were compelled to remain in the maternity unit because they could not be accommodated at hospitals with facilities for ventilating newborn babies. The neonatal survival rate of babies with respiratory failure who were transferred to the NICU was 66% whereas the survival rate of similar babies who were declined transfer was 30%. Our findings support the efficacy of intensive care for ill babies with respiratory failure and suggest that such facilities need to be more widely developed.
PMCID: PMC1627563  PMID: 7092287
25.  Evaluation of prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies diagnosable by prenatal ultrasound in patients in neonatal intensive care units of Cali, Colombia 
Colombia Médica : CM  null;45(1):32-38.
The study aim was to determine the frequency of prenatal ultrasound diagnosis of congenital anomalies in Newborns (NB) with birth defects hospitalized in two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) of Cali (Colombia) and to identify socio-demographic factors associated with lack of such diagnosis.
Patients and methods:
It was an observational cross-sectional study. NB with congenital defects diagnosable by prenatal ultrasound (CDDPU), who were hospitalized in two neonatal intensive care units (NICU), were included in this study. A format of data collection for mothers, about prenatal ultra-sonographies, socio-demographic data and information on prenatal and definitive diagnosis of their conditions was applied. Multiple logistic and Cox regressions analyses were done.
173 NB were included, 42.8% of cases had no prenatal diagnosis of CDDPU; among them, 59.5% had no prenatal ultrasound (PNUS). Lack of PNUS was associated with maternal age, 25 to 34 years (Odds Ratio [OR]: 4.41) and 35 to 47 years (OR: 5.24), with low levels of maternal education (OR: 8.70) and with only a PNUS compared to having two or more PNUS (OR: 4.00). Mothers without health insurance tend to be delayed twice the time to access the first PNUS in comparison to mothers with payment health insurance (Hazard Ratio [HR]: 0.51). Among mothers who had PNUS, screening sensitivity of CDDPU after the 19th gestational week was 79.2%.
The frequency of prenatal diagnosis is low and is explained by lack of PNUS, or by lack of diagnostic in the PNUS. An association between lack of PNUS and late age pregnancy and low level of maternal education was found. In addition, uninsured mothers tend to delay twice in accessing to the first PNUS in comparison to mothers with health insurance. It is necessary to establish national policies which ensure access to appropriate, timely and good quality prenatal care for all pregnant women in Colombia.
PMCID: PMC4045225  PMID: 24970957
Congenital anomalies; prenatal diagnosis; prenatal ultrasound; accessibility to health services

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