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עמוד בית
Wed, 17.07.24

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September 2020
Ella Schwarzmann Aley-Raz MD, Gil Talmon MD, Marina Peniakov MD, Jamal Hasanein MD, Clari Felszer-Fisch MD and Scott A. Weiner MD

Background: Neonatal hypothermia (< 36°C) has been associated with both neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To develop a multifactorial approach to reduce the incidence of neonatal hypothermia at admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Methods: The approach involved a detailed quality improvement (QI) plan, which included the use of occlusive wrapping and exothermic mattresses as well as higher delivery and operating room environmental temperatures. The improvement plan was implemented over a 10-month period. Retrospective comparison to the same 10-month period during the previous year assessed the effectiveness of the approach in reducing the incidence of admission hypothermia.

Results: The QI project included 189 patients. These patients were compared to 180 patients during the control period. The characteristics of the patient groups were similar and included preterm infants, who were subsequently analyzed as a subgroup. We found a significant reduction in the incidence of hypothermia, which was most profound for the subgroup of premature infants born at < 32 weeks gestation. Neonatal hyperthermia was identified as an unintended consequence of the project, and subsequently improved after initiating simple preventive measures.

Conclusions: Occlusive wrapping, exothermic mattresses, and higher delivery and operating room environmental temperature may be successful in reducing admission neonatal hypothermia

March 2010
I. Kessel, D. Waisman, O. Barnet-Grinnes, T. Zim Ben Ari and A. Rotschild

Background: High frequency oscillatory ventilation based on optimal lung volume strategy is one of the accepted modes of ventilatory support for respiratory distress syndrome in very low birth weight infants. In 1999 it was introduced in our unit as the primary ventilation modality for RDS[1].

Objectives: To evaluate if the shift to HFOV[2] influenced the outcome of ventilated VLBW[3] infants in the neonatal intensive care unit of Carmel Medical Center.

Methods: Data were obtained from the medical charts of VLBW infants born at Carmel Medical Center, and late mortality data were taken from the Israel Ministry of Internal Affairs records. A retrospective analysis and a comparison with a historical control group ventilated by the conventional method were performed.

Results: A total of 232 VLBW infants with RDS were mechanically ventilated, from 1995 to 2003: 120 were ventilated using HFOV during the period 1999–2003 and 102 infants using CV[4] during 1995–1999. The mean gestational age of survivors was 27.4 ± 2 weeks in the HFOV group and 28.4 ± 2 in the conventional ventilation group (P = 0.03). The sub-sample of infants with birth weights <1000 g ventilated with HFOV showed higher survival rates than the infants in the conventional ventilation group, 53 vs. 25 (64.6% vs. 44.6%) respectively (P < 0.05). A trend for lower incidence of pulmonary interstitial emphysema was observed in the HFOV group.

Conclusions: The introduction of HFOV based on optimal lung volume strategy proved to be an efficient and safe method of ventilation support for VLBW infants in our unit.

[1] RDS = respiratory distress syndrome

[2] HFOV = high frequency oscillatory ventilation

[3] VLBW = very low birth weight

[4] CV = conventional ventilation

January 2007
I. Morag, M. Goldman, J. Kuint, E. Heyman

Background: Necrotizing enterocolitis is a common progressive gastrointestinal disease affecting more than 5% of very low birth weight infants and associated with a high mortality rate.

Objectives: To determine whether excessive weight gain in preterm infants is an early sign of NEC[1].

Methods: Seventeen preterm infants with perforated NEC were identified and matched with 17 control subjects for birth weight and gestational age. The postnatal age (days) at diagnosis of NEC was identified, and weight changes as well as clinical and laboratory data were recorded and compared for 7 days prior through 7 days post-diagnosis.

Results: A significant difference in weight gain was noticed between D-1 and D 0. The NEC and control groups gained 5.1% and 1.2%, respectively (P = 0.002). None of the sick infants lost weight on days -1 to D 0.

Conclusions: Excessive weight gain was observed in premature infants who subsequently developed NEC. Daily evaluation of weight changes should be considered part of a strategy for early identification of infants at risk for developing NEC. Future studies are needed to confirm this finding in a prospective manner and to investigate its pathogenesis.

[1] NEC = necrotizing enterocolitis

July 2006
I. Arad, M. Baras, B. Bar-Oz and R. Gofin
 Background: Maternal transport, rather than neonatal transport, to tertiary care centers is generally advocated. Since a substantial number of premature deliveries still occur in hospitals with level I and level II nurseries, it is imperative to find means to improve their outcome.

Objectives: To compare the neonatal outcome (survival, intraventricular hemorrhage and bronchopulmonary dysplasia) of inborn and outborn very low birth weight infants, accounting for sociodemographic, obstetric and perinatal variables, with reference to earlier published data.

Methods: We compared 129 premature infants with birth weights of 750–1250 g delivered between 1996 and 2000 in a hospital providing neonatal intensive care to 99 premature babies delivered in a referring hospital. In the statistical analysis, variables with a statistical significant association with the outcome variables and dissimilar distribution in the two hospitals were identified and entered together with the hospital of birth as explanatory variables in a logistic regression.

Results: Accounting for the covariates, the odds ratios (outborns relative to inborns) were 0.31 (95% confidence interval = 0.11–0.86, P = 0.03) for mortality, 1.37 (95%CI[1] = 0.64–2.96, P = 0.42) for severe intraventricular hemorrhage, and 0.86 (95%CI = 0.38–1.97, P = 0.78) for bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The odds ratio for survival without severe intraventricular hemorrhage was 1.10 (95%CI = 0.55–2.20, P = 0.78). Comparing the current results with earlier (1990–94) published data from the same institution showed that mortality decreased in both the outborn and inborn infants (OR[2] = 0.23, 95%CI = 0.09–0.58, P = 0.002 and 0.46; 95%CI = 0.20–1.04, P = 0.06, respectively), but no significant change in the incidence of severe intraventricular hemorrhage or brochopulmonary dysplasia was observed. Increased survival was observed also in these infants receiving surfactant, more so among the outborn. The latter finding could be attributed to the early, pre-transport surfactant administration, implemented only during the current study.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that very low birth weight outborn infants may share an outcome comparable with that of inborn babies, if adequate perinatal care including surfactant administration is provided prior to transportation to a tertiary center.


[1] CI = confidence interval

[2] OR = odds ratio

September 2002
Imad R. Makhoul, MD, DSc, Monica Epelman, MD, Imad Kassis, MD, Marcelo Daitzchman, MD and Polo Sujov, MD
February 2002
Imad R. Makhoul, MD, DSc, Polo Sujov, MD, Leon Ardekian, DDS, Imad Kassis, MD, Tatiana Smolkin, MD, Imad Abu-Elnaa'j, DMD, Ada Tamir, DSc and Dov Laufer, DMD

Background: Factors influencing the oral flora of premature infants have not been adequately investigated.

Objective: To investigate the effects of gestational age and of anti-bacterial therapy on the oral flora of premature infants.

Methods: Oral cultures were obtained at age 1 day and age 10 days from 65 premature infants, divided into three groups: a) 24 neonates of 30-34 weeks gestation who did not receive ABT, b) 23 neonates of 30-34 weeks gestation who received ABT, and c) 18 neonates < 30 weeks gestation who received ABT.

Results: Oral bacterial colonization increased from day 1 to day 10 of life. In 24-34 week neonates, gestational age did not affect early bacteremia or oral colonization at birth. Neither gestational age nor ABT affected late bacteremia or oral colonization at day 10. In 30-34 week neonates with ABT, the oral flora consisted mainly of non-Escherichia coli gram-negative bacteria, whereas those who did not receive ABT grew mainly alpha-hemolytic streptococci, Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli in neonates < 30 weeks who received ABT the oral flora were mainly coagulase-negative staphylococci. Oral colonization with anearobes was zero and colonization with fungi was minimal.

Conclusions: Acquistion of oral bacteria rose from day 1 to day 10 of life, regardless of gestational life or ABT. On day 10 of life, the spectrum of oral bacterial flora changed following ABT and consisted mainly of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus and non E. coli garm-negative bacteria. Oral colonization showed few fungi but no anaerobes. These microbiologic observations merit attention when empirical anti-microbial therapy is considered in premature infants suspected or having late-onset sepsis.

October 1999
Shaul Dollberg MD and Francis B. Mimouni MD
 Background and Objective: Very low birthweight infants (<1,500 g birthweight) often develop significant anemia that requires multiple blood transfusions, which carry a significant risk. Erythropoietin therapy is known to reduce the need for blood transfusions in preterm VLBW(1) infants. Analysis of cost had been reported in prospective studies with conflicting results. No studies comparing the cost-effectiveness of EPO(2) have been reported during routine use in preterm VLBW infants.

Methods: We compared the cost of treating anemia of prematurity in two consecutive 12-month periods: before and after the introduction of EPO therapy in our unit. The cost of blood bank charges as well as disposable items and the cost of EPO were compared.

Results: A significantly smaller number of infants required blood transfusions in the EPO group (2 of 25 vs. 9/21 before EPO was introduced). The cost of therapy for anemia of prematurity was significantly smaller in the EPO group (128±168 US$ per infant vs. 151±189 US$ per infant before the introduction of EPO).

Conclusion: We conclude that EPO is an efficient and cost-effective alternative to blood transfusions in VLBW infants.


(1) VLBW = very low birthweight

(2) EPO = erythropoietin

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