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1.  Multiple pregnancies and its relationship with the development of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) 
The influence of multiple gestation on the occurrence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is still not completely understood.
To verify the incidence of any stage of ROP and threshold ROP in singletons and in multiple gestation among preterm infants.
This was an institutional, prospective, and descriptive cohort study, which included preterm newborns with birth weight (BW) of 1500 g or less and/or gestational age (GA) of 32 weeks or less, as admitted to the neonatal units at Laranjeiras and Amparo Hospitals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between January 2001 and July 2005, and whom remained hospitalized for at least 28 days. There were no exclusion criteria. Patients were divided into two groups: Group 1 included multiples; and Group 2 consisted of singletons.
A total of 159 infants that remained in neonatal unit care for at least 28 days were included in this study. Group 1 comprised 56 (35%) multiples; and Group 2 comprised 103 (65%) singletons. Mean BW was 1072 g ± 272 and 1089 g ± 282 in Groups 1 and 2, respectively (analysis of variance [ANOVA] P > 0.05). Mean GA among multiple gestation (Group 1) was 29 weeks ± 2.1; and 29 weeks ± 2.4 among singletons (Group 2) (ANOVA P > 0.05). Days in oxygen therapy ranged from 0 to 188 days. Median among Group 1 was 15 days, while median in Group 2 was 10 days (Kruskal–Wallis P > 0.05). Any stage ROP was detected in 66 (41.5%) of the whole cohort comprising 159 babies. Among the 56 multiples, 30 (53.6%) achieved any stage ROP, and among 103 singletons, 36 (35%) achieved any stage ROP (Chi-square test P < 0.05). Threshold ROP occurred in 12 (7.5%) of the 159 patients included. Three (5.3%) patients from Group 1 and nine (8.7%) patients in Group 2 reached threshold ROP needing laser treatment (Fisher’s exact test P > 0.05).
This study showed higher frequency of any stage of ROP in twins and triplets but not regarding threshold disease. Because of the relatively small number of patients in this sample, other studies are necessary to determine if gemelarity plays a role in the occurrence of ROP.
PMCID: PMC3258087  PMID: 22267912
prematurity; retinopathy of prematurity; gemelarity; prevalence
2.  Randomised trial of a parenting intervention during neonatal intensive care 
To evaluate the influence of parenting intervention on maternal responsiveness and infant neurobehavioural development following a very premature birth.
Cluster‐randomised controlled trial, with a crossover design and three‐month washout period.
Six neonatal intensive care units.
Infants born <32 weeks' gestation.
The Parent Baby Interaction Programme (PBIP) is a supportive, educational intervention delivered by research nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit, with optional home follow‐up for up to six weeks after discharge.
Main outcome measures
Parenting stress at 3 months adjusted age, as measured by the Parenting Stress Index (PSI). Other outcomes included the Neurobehavioural Assessment of the Preterm Infant (NAPI) and maternal interaction as assessed by the Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale (NCATS) and the responsivity subscale for Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME).
112 infants were recruited in the intervention phases and 121 in the control phases. Mean standardised NAPI scores at 35 weeks did not differ between the PBIP and control groups. Both groups had low but similar NCATS caregiver scores before discharge (36.6 in the PBIP group and 37.4 in control, adjusted mean difference −0.7, 95% CI −2.7 to 1.4). At three months, adjusted age mean PSI scores for the PBIP group were 71.9 compared with 67.1 for controls (adjusted mean difference 3.8, 95% CI −4.7 to 12.4). NCATS scores and HOME responsivity scores were similarly distributed between the groups.
This early, nurse‐delivered, parent‐focused interaction programme intervention had no measurable effects on short‐term infant neurobehavioural function, mother–child interaction or parenting stresses.
PMCID: PMC2675386  PMID: 17301114
cluster randomised trial; interaction; parental stress; preterm infant; very premature birth
3.  Access to tuberculosis diagnosis in Itaboraí City, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: the patient’s point of view 
Itaboraí Municipality in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
To evaluate access to tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis for users of the Family Health Program (FHP) and Reference Ambulatory Units (RAUs).
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Itaboraí City, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Between July and October 2007, a sample of 100 TB patients registered consecutively with the TB Control Program was interviewed using the primary care assessment tool. The two highest scores, describing ‘almost always’ and ‘always’, or ‘good’ and ‘very good’, were used as a cut-off point to define high quality access to diagnosis.
FHP patients were older and had less education than RAU interviewees. Sex and overcrowding did not differ in the two groups. Patient groups did not differ with regard to the number of times care was sought at a unit, transport problems, cost of attending units and availability of consultation within 24 h. Adequate access to diagnosis was identified by 62% of the FHP patients and 53% of the RAU patients (P = 0.01).
In Itaboraí, Rio de Janeiro, TB patients believe that the FHP units provide greater access to TB diagnosis than RAUs. These findings will be used by the Department of Health to improve access to diagnosis in Itaboraí.
PMCID: PMC3697920  PMID: 19723404
primary health care; tuberculosis; access to health services; health sector reform; TB diagnostic delay
4.  Health conditions and residential concentration of poverty: a study in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
STUDY OBJECTIVES—To establish the geographical relation of health conditions to socioeconomic status in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
DESIGN—All reported deaths in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, from 1987 to 1995, obtained from the Mortality Information System, were considered in the study. The 24 "administrative regions" that compose the city were used as the geographical units. A geographical information system (GIS) was used to link mortality data and population census data, and allowed the authors to establish the geographical pattern of the health indicators considered in this study: "infant mortality rate"; "standardised mortality rate"; "life expectancy" and "homicide rate". Information on location of low income communities (slums) was also provided by the GIS. A varimax rotation principal component analysis combined information on socioeconomic conditions and provided a two dimension basis to assess contextual variation.
MAIN RESULTS—The 24 administrative regions were aggregated into three different clusters, identified as relevant to reflect the socioeconomic variation. Almost all health indicator thematic maps showed the same socioeconomic stratification pattern. The worst health situation was found in the cluster composed of the harbour area and northern vicinity, precisely in the sector where the highest concentration of slum residents are present. This sector of the city exhibited an extremely high homicide rate and a seven year lower life expectancy than the remainder of the city. The sector that concentrates affluence, composed of the geographical units located along the coast, showed the best health situation. Intermediate health conditions were found in the west area, which also has poor living standards but low concentration of slums.
CONCLUSIONS—The findings suggest that social and organisation characteristics of low income communities may have a relevant role in understanding health variations. Local health and other social programmes specifically targeting these communities are recommended.

Keywords: geographical information system; health conditions; low income communities
PMCID: PMC1731708  PMID: 10846196
5.  How Nurses Assist Parents Regarding Life Support Decisions for Extremely Premature Infants 
To describe nurse behaviors that assisted parents to make life support decisions for an extremely premature infant before and after the infant’s birth.
Qualitative, longitudinal, collective case study where interviews were done pre- and postnatally and medical chart data were collected.
Interviews were conducted face-to-face in a private room in the hospital, in the mother’s home, or over the telephone.
A sample of 40 cases (40 mothers, 14 fathers, 42 physicians, 17 obstetric nurses, 6 neonatal nurses, and 6 neonatal nurse practitioners) was recruited from three hospitals that provided high risk perinatal care. Parents were at least 18 years of age, English speaking, and had participated in a prenatal discussion with a physician regarding treatment decisions for their infant due to threatened preterm delivery. Physicians and nurses were those identified by parents who had spoken to them about life support treatment decisions for the infant.
Using a semi-structured interview guide, a total of 203 interviews were conducted (137 prenatal, 51 postnatal, and 15 end-of-life). For this analysis, all coded data related to the nurse’s role were analyzed and summarized.
Parents and nurses both described several nurse behaviors: providing emotional support; giving information, and meeting the physical care needs of mothers, infants, and fathers. Physicians’ description of the nurse behaviors focused on the way nurses provided emotional support and gave information.
Nurses play a critical role in assisting parents surrounding life support decisions.
PMCID: PMC2859457  PMID: 20409115
decision making; role of nurses; parent support; life support decisions
6.  Transition of Premature Infants From Hospital to Home Life 
Neonatal network : NN  2012;31(4):207-214.
To conduct an integrative literature review to studies that focus on the transition of premature infants from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to home.
A literature search was performed in Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), PubMed, and MEDLINE to identify studies consisting on the transition of premature infants from hospital to home life.
The search yielded seven articles that emphasized the need for home visits, child and family assessment methods, methods of keeping contact with health care providers, educational and support groups, and described the nurse’s role in the transition program. The strategy to ease the transition differed in each article.
Home visits by a nurse were a key component by providing education, support, and nursing care. A program therefore should consist of providing parents of premature infants with home visits implemented by a nurse or staying in contact with a nurse (e.g., via video-conference).
PMCID: PMC3662297  PMID: 22763247
7.  A pilot cohort analytic study of Family Integrated Care in a Canadian neonatal intensive care unit 
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth  2013;13(Suppl 1):S12.
We have developed a Family Integrated Care (FIC) model for use in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where parents provide most of the care for their infant, while nurses teach and counsel parents. The objective of this pilot prospective cohort analytic study was to explore the feasibility, safety, and potential outcomes of implementing this model in a Canadian NICU.
Infants born ≤35 weeks gestation, receiving continuous positive airway pressure or less respiratory support, with a primary caregiver willing and able to spend ≥8 hours a day with their infant were eligible. Families attended daily education sessions and were mentored at the bedside by nurses. The primary outcome was weight gain, as measured by change in z-score for weight 21 days after enrolment. For each enrolled infant, we identified two matched controls from the previous year’s clinical database. Differences in weight gain between the two groups were analyzed using a linear mixed effects multivariable regression model. We also measured parental stress levels using the Parental Stress Survey: NICU, and interviewed parents and nurses regarding their experiences with FIC.
This study included 42 mothers and their infants. Of the enrolled infants, matched control data were available for 31 who completed the study. The rate of change in weight gain was significantly higher in FIC infants compared with control infants (p < 0.05). There was also a significant increase in the incidence of breastfeeding at discharge (82.1 vs. 45.5%, p < 0.05). The mean Parental Stress Survey: NICU score for FIC mothers was 3.06 ± 0.12 at enrolment, which decreased significantly to 2.30 ± 0.13 at discharge (p < 0.05). Feedback from the parents and nurses indicated that FIC was feasible and appropriately implemented.
This study suggests that the FIC model is feasible and safe in a Canadian healthcare setting and results in improved weight gain among preterm infants. In addition, this innovation has the potential to improve other short and long-term infant and family outcomes. A multi-centre randomized controlled trial is needed to further evaluate the efficacy of FIC in the Canadian context.
PMCID: PMC3561192  PMID: 23445639
8.  TREC-SAVE: a randomised trial comparing mechanical restraints with use of seclusion for aggressive or violent seriously mentally ill people: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Trials  2011;12:180.
Thousands of people whose aggression is thought due to serious mental illness are secluded or restrained every day. Without fair testing these techniques will continue to be used outside of a rigorous evidence base. With such coercive treatment this leaves all concerned vulnerable to abuse and criticism. This paper presents the protocol for a randomised trial comparing seclusion with restraints for people with serious mental illnesses.
Setting-General psychiatric wards of a large psychiatric hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Participants-Anyone aggressive or violent suspected or known to have serious mental illness for whom restriction is felt to be indicated by nursing and medical staff, but also for whom they are unsure whether seclusion or restraint would be indicated. Interventions-The standard care of either strong cotton banding to edge of bed with medications as indicated and close observation or the other standard care of use of a minimally furnished seclusion room but with open but barred windows onto the nursing station. Outcomes-time to restrictions lifted, early change of treatment, additional episodes, adverse effects/events, satisfaction with care during episode. Duration-2 weeks. Identifier: ISRCTN 49454276
PMCID: PMC3154155  PMID: 21774823
9.  Effect of WHO Newborn care Training on Neonatal Mortality by Education 
99% of the 4 million neonatal deaths per year occur in developing countries. The WHO Essential Newborn Care (ENC) course sets the minimum accepted standard for training midwives on aspects of infant care (neonatal resuscitation, breastfeeding, kangaroo-care, small baby care and thermoregulation), many of which are provided by the mother.
To determine the association of ENC with all cause 7 day (early) neonatal mortality among the infants of less educated mothers compared to those of more educated ones.
Protocol- and ENC-certified research nurses trained all 123 college-educated midwives from 18 low-risk first level urban community health centers (Zambia) in data collection (one week) and ENC (one week) as part of a controlled study to test the clinical impact of ENC implementation. The mothers were categorized into two groups, those who had completed 7 years of school education (primary education) and those with 8 or more years of education.
ENC training is associated with decreases in early neonatal mortality; rates decreased from 11.2/1000 live births pre-ENC to 6.2/1000 following ENC implementation (p<0.001). Prenatal care, birth weight, race, and gender did not differ between the groups. Mortality for infants of mothers with 7 years of education decreased from 12.4 to 6.0/1000 (p<0.0001) but did not change significantly for those with 8 or more years of education (8.7 to 6.3/1000, p=0.14).
ENC training decreases early neonatal mortality, and the impact is larger in infants of mothers without secondary education. The impact of ENC may be optimized by training health care workers who treat women with less formal education.
PMCID: PMC2592550  PMID: 18922503
maternal; education; neonatal mortality
10.  NICU nurses’ ambivalent attitudes in skin-to-skin care practice 
This article illuminates the essence of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses’ attitudes in skin-to-skin care (SSC) practice for preterm infants and their parents. Health care providers are in a unique position to influence the dynamic between infants and parents, and SSC affects both partners in the dyad. The design is descriptively phenomenological in terms of reflective lifeworld approach. Eighteen Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian nurses from NICUs offering varied possibilities and extents of SSC participated. NICU nurses’ attitudes in SSC practice are ambivalent. The nurses consider the sensory, wellness, and mutuality experiences to be primary and vital and enact SSC as much as possible. But “as much as possible” is a broad and varied concept, and their attitudes are ambivalent in terms of not always facilitating what they consider to be the optimal caring conditions. The source of NICU nurses’ ambivalent attitudes in SSC practice is a complex interplay of beliefs, norms, and evidence, which have a multidisciplinary basis. The ambivalent attitudes are, to a great extent, the result of the need to balance these multidisciplinary concerns. This needs to be acknowledged in considering SSC practice, as well as acknowledging that clinical judgments concerning optimal SSC depend on parents and infants unlimited access to each other, which NICU nurses can influence.
PMCID: PMC3933728  PMID: 24559549
Reflective lifeworld research; SSC; Kangaroo Mother Care; NICU nursing; parent–infant separation; phenomenology; developmental care
11.  The Impact of Epidemic Violence on the Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63545.
Violence and other traumatic events, as well as psychiatric disorders are frequent in developing countries, but there are few population studies to show the actual impact of traumatic events in the psychiatric morbidity in low and middle-income countries (LMIC).
To study the relationship between traumatic events and prevalence of mental disorders in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Cross-sectional survey carried out in 2007–2008 with a probabilistic representative sample of 15- to 75-year-old residents in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The sample comprised 3744 interviews. Nearly 90% of participants faced lifetime traumatic events. Lifetime prevalence of any disorders was 44% in Sao Paulo and 42.1% in Rio de Janeiro. One-year estimates were 32.5% and 31.2%. One-year prevalence of traumatic events was higher in Rio de Janeiro than Sao Paulo (35.1 vs. 21.7; p<0.001). Participants from Rio de Janeiro were less likely to have alcohol dependence (OR = 0.55; p = 0.027), depression (OR = 0.6; p = 0.006) generalized anxiety (OR = 0.59; p = 0.021) and post-traumatic stress disorder (OR = 0.62; p = 0.027). Traumatic events correlated with all diagnoses – e.g. assaultive violence with alcohol dependence (OR = 5.7; p<0.001) and with depression (OR = 1.7; p = 0.001).
Our findings show that psychiatric disorders and traumatic events, especially violence, are extremely common in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, supporting the idea that neuropsychiatric disorders and external causes have become a major public health priority, as they are amongst the leading causes of burden of disease in low and middle-income countries. The comparison between the two cities regarding patterns of violence and psychiatric morbidity suggests that environmental factors may buffer the negative impacts of traumatic events. Identifying such factors might guide the implementation of interventions to improve mental health and quality of life in LMIC urban centers.
PMCID: PMC3648507  PMID: 23667636
12.  Early mortality and cause of deaths in patients using HAART in Brazil and the United States 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(16):2107-2114.
To compare the early mortality pattern and causes of death among patients starting HAART in Brazil and the United States.
We analyzed the combined data from two clinical cohorts followed at the Johns Hopkins AIDS Service in Baltimore, United States, and the Evandro Chagas Clinical Research Institute AIDS Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Participants included those who entered either cohort between 1999 and 2007 and were antiretroviral naive. Follow-up was at 1 year since HAART initiation. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to assess the role of the city on the risk of death.
A total of 859 and 915 participants from Baltimore and Rio de Janeiro, respectively, were included. In Rio de Janeiro, 64.7% of deaths occurred within 90 days of HAART initiation; in Baltimore, 48.9% occurred between 180 and 365 days. AIDS-defining illness (61.8%) and non-AIDS-defining illness (55.6%) predominated as causes of death in Rio de Janeiro and Baltimore, respectively. Risk of death was similar in both cities (hazard ratio 1.04; P value=0.95) after adjusting for CD4+ T cell count, age, sex, HIV risk group, prior AIDS-defining illness, and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia and Mycobacterium avium prophylaxis. Individuals with CD4+ T cell count less than or equal to 50 cells/μl (hazard ratio 4.36; P = 0.001) or older (hazard ratio, 1.03; P = 0.03) were more likely to die.
Although late HIV diagnosis is a problem both in developed and developing countries, differences in the timing and causes of deaths clearly indicate that, besides interventions for early HIV diagnosis, different strategies to curb early mortality need to be tailored in each country.
PMCID: PMC3790467  PMID: 19770698
antiretroviral therapy; causes of death; cohort; early mortality; HIV/AIDS
13.  Feedback on end-of-life care in dementia: the study protocol of the FOLlow-up project 
BMC Palliative Care  2013;12:29.
End-of-life care in dementia in nursing homes is often found to be suboptimal. The Feedback on End-of-Life care in dementia (FOLlow-up) project tests the effectiveness of audit- and feedback to improve the quality of end-of-life care in dementia.
Nursing homes systematically invite the family after death of a resident with dementia to provide feedback using the End-of-Life in Dementia (EOLD) – instruments. Two audit- and feedback strategies are designed and tested in a three-armed Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT): a generic feedback strategy using cumulative EOLD-scores of a group of patients and a patient specific feedback strategy using EOLD-scores on a patient level. A total of 18 nursing homes, three groups of six homes matched on size, geographic location, religious affiliation and availability of a palliative care unit were randomly assigned to an intervention group or the control group. The effect on quality of care and quality of dying and the barriers and facilitators of audit- and feedback in the nursing home setting are evaluated using mixed-method analyses.
The FOLlow-up project is the first study to assess and compare the effect of two audit- and feedback strategies to improve quality of care and quality of dying in dementia. The results contribute to the development of practice guidelines for nursing homes to monitor and improve care outcomes in the realm of end-of-life care in dementia.
Trial registration
The Netherlands National Trial Register (NTR). Trial number: NTR3942
PMCID: PMC3751417  PMID: 23924229
End-of-life care; Satisfaction with care; Quality of care; Dementia; Nursing home; Quality indicators
14.  Neonatal Procedural Pain and Preterm Infant Cortisol Response to Novelty at 8 Months 
Pediatrics  2004;114(1):e77-e84.
Objectives. Stress systems may be altered in the long term in preterm infants for multiple reasons, including early exposure to procedural pain in neonatal intensive care. This question has received little attention beyond hospital discharge. Stress responses (cortisol) to visual novelty in preterm infants who were born at extremely low gestational age (ELGA; ≤28 weeks), very low gestational age (VLGA; 29–32 weeks), and term were compared at 8 months of age corrected for prematurity (corrected chronological age [CCA]). In addition, among the preterm infants, we evaluated whether cortisol levels at 8 months were related to neonatal exposure to procedural pain and morphine in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Methods. Seventy-six infants, 54 preterm (≤32 weeks' GA at birth) and 22 term-born infants who were seen at 8 months CCA composed the study sample, after excluding those with major sensory, motor, or cognitive impairment. Salivary cortisol was measured before (basal) and 20 minutes after introduction of novel toys (post 1) and after developmental assessment (post 2).
Results. Salivary cortisol was significantly higher in ELGA infants at 8 months, compared with the VLGA and term groups before and after introduction of visual novelty. Term-born and VLGA infants showed a slight decrease in cortisol when playing with novel toys, whereas the ELGA group showed higher basal and sustained levels of cortisol. After controlling for early illness severity and duration of supplemental oxygen, higher basal cortisol levels in preterm infants at 8 months' CCA were associated with higher number of neonatal skin-breaking procedures. In contrast, cortisol responses to novelty were predicted equally well by neonatal pain or GA at birth. No relationship between morphine dosing and cortisol response was demonstrated in these infants.
Conclusions. ELGA preterm infants show a different pattern of cortisol levels before and after positive stimulation of visual novelty than more maturely born, VLGA preterm and term-born infants. Exposure to high numbers of skin-breaking procedures may contribute to “resetting” basal arousal systems in preterm infants.
PMCID: PMC1351380  PMID: 15231977
15.  Low Rates of Sustained Virologic Response with Peginterferon Plus Ribavirin for Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection in HIV Infected Patients in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67734.
The standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in HIV-infected subjects is the combination of alfapeginterferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin. We designed this study to evaluate the rate of SVR and predictors of SVR in a public health setting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Retrospective cohort study of HCV/HIV co-infected patients treated with PEG-IFN plus ribavirin from 2004 to 2011 in 3 outpatient units in Rio de Janeiro. Exposure variables included age, sex, CD4+ cell count, HCV genotype, HCV and HIV viral loads, liver histology (METAVIR fibrosis scoring system) and previous treatment. The main outcome measurement was SVR.
100 patients were included in this analysis. Median age was 47 years and 68% were male. 80%, 4%, 14% and 2% were infected with HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. At baseline, 77% had HCV viral load greater than 800,000 IU/ml, 99% had CD4+ greater than 200 cells/mm3 and 10% had a diagnosis of cirrhosis. The treatment was withdrawn in 9% of the subjects (5% with adverse effects and 4% dropped out). SVR was observed in 27 (27%) of the 100 patients included. 13 (13%) subjects were classified as null-responders, 33(33%) as non-responders, 9 (9%) as breakthrough and 9(9%) as relapsers. In the multivariate model only being infected with genotype 2 or 3 (p<0.01) and having low levels of gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) at baseline (p = 0.04), were predictive of SVR.
SVR in HCV/HIV co-infected subjects in a public health setting is similar to that observed in clinical trials, albeit very low. A delay in therapy initiation should be considered until new therapies as direct acting antiviral drugs (DAA) become widely available and tested in coinfected subjects.
PMCID: PMC3706550  PMID: 23874441
16.  The optimum time to employ telephotoscreening to detect retinopathy of prematurity. 
PURPOSE: Labor-intensive screening of infants in the neonatal intensive care units is the only way to detect retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Our purpose is to determine if RetCam 120 photos, acquired by a neonatal nurse, can be used to screen for ROP by performing 2 screening examinations, at 32 to 34 weeks (exam 1) and at 38 to 40 weeks (exam 2) post-conceptional age. METHODS: RetCam examinations are performed by a nurse on infants at exam 1 and exam 2 intervals. At the same time, an examination is performed by an experienced ophthalmologist. Masked readers evaluate the photos for ROP and determine if each eye will progress to prethreshold or threshold disease. The data are compared to the clinical course of the eyes. RESULTS: Forty-six eyes were photographed at exam 1 and 50 eyes at exam 2 from July 1, 1999, to December 15, 1999. Sensitivity and specificity of detecting ROP were 76% and 100% for exam 2 and 46% and 100% for exam 1. Sensitivity and specificity of predicting prethreshold disease were 64% and 97% for exam 2 and 33% and 100% for exam 1. Sensitivity and specificity of predicting threshold were both 100% at exam 2 and 0% (one photo in category) and 95% at exam 1. CONCLUSION: A potential reason for low sensitivity is technical limitations of the Retcam, such as the difficulty in capturing peripheral retina in small eyes and the need for a better lid speculum.
PMCID: PMC1298221  PMID: 11190018
17.  Nurse staffing in relation to risk‐adjusted mortality in neonatal care 
To assess whether risk‐adjusted mortality in very low birthweight or preterm infants is associated with levels of nursing provision.
Prospective study of risk‐adjusted mortality in infants admitted to a random sample of neonatal units.
Fifty four UK neonatal intensive care units stratified by: patient volume; consultant availability; nurse:cot ratios.
A group of 2585 very low birthweight (birthweight <1500 g) or preterm (<31 weeks gestation) infants.
Main Outcome Measure
Death before discharge or planned deaths at home, excluding lethal malformations, after adjusting for initial risk 12 hours after birth using gestation at birth and measures of illness severity in relation to nursing provision calculated for each baby's neonatal unit stay.
A total of 57% of nursing shifts were understaffed, with greater shortages at weekends. Risk‐adjusted mortality was inversely related to the provision of nurses with specialist neonatal qualifications (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.42 to 0.97). Increasing the ratio of nurses with neonatal qualifications to intensive care and high dependency infants to 1:1 was associated with a decrease in risk‐adjusted mortality of 48% (OR: 0.52, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.83).
Risk‐adjusted mortality did not differ across neonatal units. However, survival in neonatal care for very low birthweight or preterm infants was related to proportion of nurses with neonatal qualifications per shift. The findings could be used to support specific standards of specialist nursing provision in neonatal and other areas of intensive and high dependency care.
PMCID: PMC2675478  PMID: 17088341
18.  TREC-Rio trial: a randomised controlled trial for rapid tranquillisation for agitated patients in emergency psychiatric rooms [ISRCTN44153243] 
BMC Psychiatry  2002;2:11.
Agitated or violent patients constitute 10% of all emergency psychiatric treatment. Management guidelines, the preferred treatment of clinicians and clinical practice all differ. Systematic reviews show that all relevant studies are small and none are likely to have adequate power to show true differences between treatments. Worldwide, current treatment is not based on evidence from randomised trials. In Brazil, the combination haloperidol-promethazine is frequently used, but no studies involving this mix exist.
TREC-Rio (Tranquilização Rápida-Ensaio Clínico [Translation: Rapid Tranquillisation-Clinical Trial]) will compare midazolam with haloperidol-promethazine mix for treatment of agitated patients in emergency psychiatric rooms of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TREC-Rio is a randomised, controlled, pragmatic and open study. Primary measure of outcome is tranquillisation at 20 minutes but effects on other measures of morbidity will also be assessed.
TREC-Rio will involve the collaboration of as many health care professionals based in four psychiatric emergency rooms of Rio as possible. Because the design of this trial does not substantially complicate clinical management, and in several aspects simplifies it, the study can be large, and treatments used in everyday practice can be evaluated.
PMCID: PMC134470  PMID: 12383353
19.  An analysis of actions to promote health in underprivileged urban areas: a case in Brazil 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:80.
Two policies stood out in the 2000s geared towards changing the care model adopted in Brazil: The National Policy on Primary Health Care, based on a family health care model, and the National Policy on Health Promotion.
The aim of this study was to analyze health promotion actions developed by family health care teams in the municipality of Belford Roxo. This town was chosen by virtue of its “below average” level of primary health care services offered in relation to other municipalities in Rio de Janeiro state.
The following methodological strategies were employed: analysis of health systems, document analysis (2010 Annual Health Schedule and 2010 Annual Management Report), participant observation and interviews with nine health care professionals in the region of study, namely: the manager of the Regional Health Polyclinic (responsible for health care actions in the region), and nurses belonging to the eight family health teams. Giddens’ Theory of Structuration was used for analysis of the results.
Varying levels of health care activity were found, indicating that the managers have been either unable or lacked the commitment to perform the proposed actions. From a structural point of view, 87.5% of the teams were incomplete. Also of particular note was the lack of any physicians in the teams, which, despite its detrimental effect, was regarded by the interviewees as “natural”.
Strong political party influence in the area hindered relations between the team and the local population. Health education, especially through lectures was the main health promotion activity picked up in this study.
No cross-sectorial or public participation actions were identified. Connections between the teams for sharing responsibilities were found to be very weak.
In addition to political factors, there are also structural limitations such as a lack of human resources that overburdens the teams’ daily activities. From this point of view, the political context and lack of professionals were restrictive factors for health promotion.
Belford Roxo is not necessarily representative of other experiences in Brazil. However, problems such as patronage, political manipulation, poverty and incipient cross-sectorial actions are common to other Brazilian towns and cities.
PMCID: PMC3683323  PMID: 23758615
Primary health care; Family health strategy; Health promotion; Health policy
20.  Maintaining Optimal Oxygen Saturation in Premature Infants 
The Permanente Journal  2011;15(1):e108-e113.
Introduction: Advances in technology have resulted in increasing survival rates for premature infants. Oxygen therapy is commonly used in neonatal units as part of respiratory support. The number of premature infants in our institution surviving with severe (stage ≥3) retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) prompted a review of oxygen therapy as a contributing factor. Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of oxygen may cause irreversible damage to the eyes of very-low-birth-weight preterm infants and is a potential cause of blindness.
Objective: We developed strategies to reduce incidence of severe ROP requiring laser surgery in premature infants.
Methods: We studied 37 preterm infants who were born at a gestational age of <32 weeks, with a birth weight of <1500 g, receiving supplemental oxygen, and had been admitted to our neonatal intensive care unit. Infants received oxygen via mechanical ventilator, nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), or intranasal (I/N) and titration of oxygen was based on each infant's measured oxygen saturation (Spo2). For each infant, we monitored the Spo2 trend, Spo2 alarm limit, and the percentage of time that the alarm limit was set incorrectly. We implemented a Spo2 targeting protocol and developed an algorithm for titrating fraction of inspired oxygen (Fio2).
Results: After phase 1 of implementation, the percentage of time that Spo2 readings were >95% was reduced to between 20% and 50%. However, our findings raised concern regarding the wide fluctuation of Spo2 readings because of inconsistency in Fio2 titration, which can contribute to deviation from the optimal target range. Accordingly, we developed an algorithm for titrating Fio2 aimed at maintaining each infant's Spo2 within the optimal target range. After phase 2 of implementation, the percentage of Spo2 readings >95% was markedly reduced to between 0% and 15%. The incidence of infants with severe ROP requiring laser surgery decreased from 5 to 1.
Conclusions: A change in clinical practice aimed at maintaining oxygen within the target range to avoid a high Spo2 was associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of both severe ROP and the need for laser surgery, thus reducing hospital costs and length of hospital stays for premature infants.
PMCID: PMC3138176  PMID: 21892344
21.  The impact of maternal characteristics on the moderately premature infant: an antenatal maternal transport clinical prediction rule 
Moderately premature infants, defined here as those born between 30 0/7 and 34 6/7 weeks gestation, comprise 3.9% of all births in the United States and 32% of all preterm births. While long-term outcomes for these infants are better than for less mature infants, morbidity and mortality are still substantially increased in comparison to infants born at term. There is an added survival benefit resulting from birth at a tertiary neonatal care center, and although many of these infants require tertiary level care, delivery at lower level hospitals and subsequent neonatal transfer are still common.
Our primary aim was to determine the impact of maternal characteristics and antenatal medical management on the early neonatal course of the moderately premature infant. The secondary aim was to create a clinical prediction rule to determine which infants require intubation and mechanical ventilation in the first 24 hours of life. Such a prediction rule could inform the decision to transfer maternal-fetal patients prior to delivery to a facility with a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where optimal care could be provided without the requirement for a neonatal transfer.
Data for this analysis came from the cohort of infants in the Moderately Premature Infant Project (MPIP) database, a multi-center cohort study of 850 infants born at gestational age 30 0/7 to 34 6/7 weeks, who were discharged home alive. We built a logistic regression model to identify maternal characteristics associated with need for tertiary care, as measured by administration of surfactant. Using statistically significant covariates from this model, we then created a numerical decision rule to predict need for tertiary care.
In multivariate modeling, 4 factors were associated with reduction in the need for tertiary care, including, surfactant administration, including non-White race (OR=0.5, [0.3, 0.7], older gestational age, female gender (OR=0.6 [0.4, 0.8]) and use of antenatal corticosteroids (OR=0.5, [0.3, 0.8]). The clinical prediction rule to discriminate between infants who received surfactant, versus those who did not, had an area under the curve of 0.77 [0.73, 0.8].
Four antenatal risk factors are associated with a requirement for Level III NICU care as defined by the need for surfactant administration. Future analyses will examine a broader spectrum of antenatal characteristics and revalidate the prediction rule in an independent cohort.
PMCID: PMC3573135  PMID: 22076416
infant; newborn; transport; clinical prediction rule; ROC Curve
22.  Success rate and neonatal morbidities associated with early extubation in extremely low birth weight infants 
Annals of Saudi Medicine  2011;31(6):577-580.
Mechanical ventilation improves survival of preterm infants with respiratory failure. The aim of this study was to determine the success rate and short-term neonatal morbidities of early extubation in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants in a tertiary care neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Retrospective cohort study of ELBW infants admitted to a tertiary. neonatal intensive care referral unit from January 1st to December 31st, 2005.
The primary outcome was the success rate of early extubation in ELBW infants who were intubated at delivery, extubated in the first 48 hours of life, and did not require reintubation within 72 hours following extubation.
Thirty of the 95 eligible infants were extubated early; of these 30 infants, 24 (80%) had a successful extubation. Infants extubated early had a higher mean birth weight (855 vs 745 g; P<.0001) and gestational age (27.3 vs 25.6 weeks; P<.0001). ELBW infants who were extubated early had lower rates of death (relative risk [RR], 0.05; 95% CI, (0.0, 0.79); P=.003), intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) (RR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.08, 0.70; P=.008), and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) (RR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.60, 0.98; P=.03) compared with those who remained ventilated beyond the first 48 hours of life.
The rate of successful early extubation in our unit exceeded the sole previously reported rate. Successful early extubation was associated with lower rates of death, IVH, and PDA in ELBW infants.
PMCID: PMC3221127  PMID: 22048501
23.  Survival and place of delivery following preterm birth: 1994-96 
AIM—To compare the survival of premature infants, adjusted for disease severity, in different types of neonatal intensive care setting.
METHODS—A prospective observational study in the Trent Health Region was carried out of all infants born to resident mothers at or before 32 weeks of gestation between 1 January 1994 to 31 December 1996 inclusive. The 16 neonatal units in Trent were subdivided into five relatively large units which regularly took outside referrals and 11 smaller units which provided intensive care for a variable proportion (sometimes nearly 100%) of their local population. Data regarding obstetric management, neonatal care, and outcome were collected by independent neonatal nurses who visited the units on a regular basis. Survival rates were compared with an expected rate calculated using the Clinical Risk Index for Babies (CRIB). For either setting to be abnormally good or bad actual deaths had to exceed the 95% confidence interval of the CRIB estimate.
RESULTS—Actual survival rates for infants ⩽32 weeks gestation and for the group of babies ⩽28 weeks gestation fell within the 95% confidence interval of the rate predicted by CRIB for both the larger referral units and the smaller district units. Similarly, compared with the CRIB prediction, infants transferred in utero or postnatally were not adversely affected in terms of the number who died.
CONCLUSION—Previous results from this geographical population, showing that survival of babies ⩽28 weeks gestation was better when their care was provided by referral units, are no longer sustained. Significant changes to the neonatal services over time make the current results plausible. However, the new structure poses potential threats to the teaching, training, and research base of the neonatal service as a whole.

PMCID: PMC1720904  PMID: 10325786
24.  Gentle Human Touch and Yakson: The Effect on Preterm's Behavioral Reactions 
ISRN Nursing  2012;2012:750363.
Objective. Touch is one of the first strong positive senses that develop in neonate. Therapeutic touch could be considered as a complementary treatment in Neonate intensive care units (NICU). Methods. This quasi-experimental study was conducted to compare the effect of Yakson and GHT on behavioral reaction of preterm infants hospitalized in NICU in south-east of Iran. 90 preterm infants participated in this study. They are randomly divided into 3 groups: (1) Yakson group, n = 30, (2) GHT group, n = 30, (3) control group, n = 30. Each infant received the GHT and Yakson interventions twice a day for 5 days. Each session lasted 15 minutes. The control group received routine nursing care. Results. In interventional group, an increase was found in sleep state score after the Yakson and GHT intervention. Their awake and fussy states' scores decreased after both interventions. No significant difference was found between Yakson and GHT group in their behavioral state scores. Conclusion. The findings suggest that Yakson and GHT had soothing and calming effect on preterm infants and could be beneficial in nursing interventions.
PMCID: PMC3389696  PMID: 22792482
25.  Outcomes of 957 preterm neonatal fundus examinations in a Guangzhou NICU through 2008 to 2011 
To take fundus examination in the preterm neonates to observe the common diseases and report the outcomes in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Guangzhou between May 2008 and May 2011.
Fundus examinations were performed with Retcam II in 957 prematures.
There were 957 prematures in this study, including 666 males and 291 females, 2 triple births, 152 twins and 803 singletons. During the three years, 86 infants with any stage retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (9.0%), 123 infants with retinal hemorrhage(12.9%), 10 infants with neonatal fundual jaundice(1.0%) and 3 babies with congenital choroidal coloboma (0.3%) were found.
Early detection and prompt treatment of ocular disorders in neonates is important to avoid lifelong visual impairment. Examination of the eyes should be performed in the newborn period and at all well-child visits.
PMCID: PMC3428543  PMID: 22937507
fundus examination; premature; retinopathy of prematurity; retinal hemorrhage; choroidal coloboma; early detection

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