NCfIH Issues Letter to Joint Commission Regarding NICU Tubing Safety Concerns

Dear Dr. Chassin and Dr. Pujols-McKee:

On behalf of the National Coalition for Infant Health (NCfIH), we are writing to share concerns regarding the ENFit tubing connector design and the safety risks this design poses to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients. For these tiny, vulnerable infants, concerns about inaccurate dosing of medications at small volumes must be taken very seriously.

The National Coalition for Infant Health is a collaborative of more than 150 professional, clinical, community health, and family support organizations focused on improving the lives of premature infants through age two and their families. NCfIH's mission is to promote lifelong clinical, health, education, and supportive services needed by premature infants and their families. NCfIH prioritizes safety of this vulnerable population and access to approved therapies.

Read the full letter.

Babies’ race affects quality of care in California neonatal intensive care, study says

An infant’s race and ethnicity affect the quality of care they receive in California neonatal intensive care units, according to a study by the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Asian American and white infants received the highest overall quality of care, according to the scoring system used in the study, which is scheduled to be published Monday in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. African American infants had slightly lower scores compared with Asians and whites. Hispanic infants and infants classified as “other,” which include American Indian and Alaskan Native infants, had significantly lower scores.

Read more at San Francisco Chronicle

Hep B Vaccine Should Be Given Sooner

The first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine should be given to babies within 24 hours of birth, new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics say.

Until now, the academy had recommended the vaccine be given by the baby's first checkup. Now, the risk of infection has increased with the ongoing opioid crisis, as more moms are getting infected with hepatitis B and passing the virus on to their babies, the authors of the new guidelines explained.

Read more at HealthDay

QOL Not Impaired for Parents of Now-Adults Born Very Preterm

Parents of adults who were very preterm (VP) or very low birth weight (VLBW) at birth have similar quality of life to that of parents of term adults, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in Pediatrics.

Dieter Wolke, Ph.D., from Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective whole-population study in Germany following 250 VP or VLBW and 230 term individuals and their parents (219 and 227, respectively) from birth to adulthood. The World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment and the Satisfaction with Life questionnaire were used to assess parental quality of life when offspring were adults (mean age, 27.3 adults).

Read more at Physician's Briefing.

Parents can have good quality of life when preemies are grownups

(Reuters Health) - Even though parents of premature babies may be more stressed out than other parents when their kids are young, their quality of life is similar to that of other parents by the time children are grown, a recent study suggests.

Researchers examined data on parents and babies from birth until the children were 27 years old on average. By the end of the study, parents’ quality of life did not differ according to how early their babies arrived, whether kids had disabilities or difficulties in school, or how well they had gotten along with other children.

Read more at Reuters

S.C. Taps Private Donors To Expand In-Home Services For At-Risk Moms

Deona Scott was 24 and in her final semester at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina when she found out she was pregnant. She turned to Medicaid for maternity health coverage and learned about a free program for first-time mothers that could connect her with a nurse to answer questions about pregnancy and caring for her baby.

Read more at Kaiser Health News

Penn tests new app designed for nurses, mothers of ICU newborns

Last month, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Intensive Care Nursery, which manages breast milk for almost half a million newborn babies in critical care, began testing out a new management system to make the lives of nurses – and new mothers – a lot easier.

Keriton is an app designed by nurses and moms to monitor inventory of breast milk and serve as a communication method between new mothers and the hospital.

Learn more at The Philly Voice.

AAP urges disaster preparation plans for NICUs

Neonatologists and other providers within neonatal intensive care units are critical for the creation of emergency preparedness plans, including the development of appropriate staffing to ensure safe and effective care during a disaster, according to joint recommendations from the AAP Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council and the Committee on Fetus and Newborn.

Read more at Healio. 

Premature babies at higher risk of heart failure

Babies born prematurely run a higher risk of heart failure during childhood and adolescence than those born at full term, says a study.

"We found that the risk of heart failure was higher for individuals born preterm, and inversely correlated with duration of pregnancy, in that the earlier you're born, the greater the risk," said study lead author Hanna Carr, doctoral student at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Read more at Business Standard

Vaccinating pregnant women year-round may cut flu in babies

Babies born to women vaccinated throughout the year against flu virus are more likely to be healthier and have reduced incidence of influenza, according to a study.

The findings, published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, showed that vaccinating pregnant mothers year-round is likely to reduce infant flu virus infection rates by an average of 30 per cent, increase birth weights by 15 per cent and result in babies having less influenza.

Read more at Business Standard.