Does starting feeding early make a difference?

Very premature babies are often fed via a tube but, obviously, at some point they need to move to being fed orally. In this study Ann Gerges, from the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, led a team of researchers looking into whether at what stage babies start to be fed orally makes a difference. 66 babies were included in the trial which found that there was no significant difference between a group who started oral feeding at 30 week and one who started oral feeding at 33 weeks. The researchers concluded that initiating oral-feeding attempts in very premature infants at 30 weeks post-menstrual age does not result in earlier attainment of full oral feedings or discharge but is safe for infants who are not fully tachypnoeic or receiving positive pressure.

You can read the abstract of this article here.

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Post-ligation cardiac syndrome

Before birth the two main arteries connected to the heart are linked by a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus, which is an essential part of foetal blood circulation. This vessel should close shortly after birth but sometimes doesn’t (patent ductus arteriosus) meaningĀ  blood rich in oxygen from the aorta mixes with blood poor in oxygen from the pulmonary artery. This can put strain on the heart and increase blood pressure in the lung’s arteries so doctors seal off the ductus arteriosus with a ligature. In this study Timothy J.B. Ulrich, from the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, led a team of researchers looking into the complications of this operation (post-ligation cardiac syndrome). The team studied 100 babies who had the operation, 31 of whom went on to develop post-ligation cardiac syndrome (PLCS). PLCS was associated with an increased risk for severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and having to have home oxygen therapy but was not linked to eye problems (retinopathy of prematurity).

You can read the abstract of this article here.


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What happens to babies when they leave intensive care?

Much as people would like to believe everything ends happily ever after once babies are sent home from an intensive care unit (NICU)many of them remain poorly and end up having to come back to hospital every so often. In this study Dennis Z. Kuo, from the University at Buffalo, in New York, led a team of researchers looking into what happened to 4,973 babies once they left the intensive-care unit. Most (69.5%) of the health-care costs generated by the babies occurred in the first year after they had left the NICU. Inpatient costs accounted for most of this spending. The percentages of babies with a 1-year readmission or visit to an emergency department were 36.8% and 63.7% respectively. Babies who were dependent on medical technology were 17.8 times more likely to be readmitted to hospital and 2.3 times as likely to be admitted to an emergency department.

You can read the abstract of this article here.

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Reach out and read on the neonatal unit

Hearing people talk, or being read to, is important for young babies’ developing brains but doesn’t happen very often in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In this study Bernadette M. Levesque, from Boston University School of Medicine, led a team of researchers who introduced a scheme called Reach Out and Read in a NICU. 98 babies took part in the study and the researchers found books in their mothers’ languages for 95% of them. The parents enjoyed reading to their children, noted positive effects and intended to keep reading to their children after their babies had been sent home.

You can read the abstract of this article here.

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Listening to Relaxing Music Improves Physiological Responses in Premature Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Premature infants are exposed to high levels of noise in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

This Spanish study evaluated the effect of a relaxing music therapy intervention composed by artificial intelligence on respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate.

To view the article abstract click here

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Basic Knowledge of Tracheoesophageal Fistula and Esophageal Atresia

Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) and esophageal atresia (ET) are rare anomalies in neonates. Up to 50% of neonates with TEF/EA will have Vertebral anomalies (V), Anal atresia (A), Cardiac anomalies (C), Tracheoesophageal fistula (T), Esophageal atresia (E), Renal anomalies (R), and Limb anomalies (L) (VACTERL) association, which has the potential to cause serious morbidity.

Timely management of the neonate can greatly impact the infant’s overall outcome. Spreading latest evidence-based knowledge and sharing practical experience with clinicians across various levels of the neonatal intensive care unit and well-baby units have the potential to decrease the rate of morbidity and mortality.

Advancements in both technology and medicine have helped identify and decrease postsurgical complications. More understanding and clarity are needed to manage acid suppression and its effects in a timely way.

To view the abstract click here

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Nursing Assessment of Intra-abdominal Hypertension and Abdominal Compartment Syndrome in the Neonate

Abdominal compartment syndrome in the surgical neonate is a low-frequency, high-risk occurrence that if overlooked is often accompanied with long-term sequelae and sometimes death. The importance of early detection of signs and symptoms through expert nursing assessment cannot be overstated.

The article describes the onset of abdominal compartment syndrome in the neonate. Early detection of this low-frequency, high-risk occurrence hinges on expert nursing assessment. Complications of abdominal compartment syndrome in the neonate involve bowel perforation, short bowel syndrome, and sometimes death. Components of this expert nursing assessment and its relationship to the pathophysiology of compartment syndrome are presented.

To view abstract click here

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