Mother to Newborn Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Evolution of Evidence in 1.5 Years of COVID-19 Pandemic
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant mortality and morbidity in people of all age groups worldwide. Given the uncertainty regarding the mode of transmission and potential effects of COVID-19 on pregnant mothers and their newborns, guidelines for taking care of maternal-newborn dyads have evolved tremendously since the pandemic began. There has been an enormous influx of published materials regarding the outcomes of mothers and newborns. Still, multiple knowledge gaps regarding comprehensive information about risk to the mothers and newborns exist, which need to be addressed. Current evidence suggests that mothers with symptomatic COVID-19 infection are at increased risk of severe illness during pregnancy, with a higher need for respiratory support and premature deliveries. Neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 are at increased risk of needing intensive care; however, most newborns do well after birth. As new mutant variants arise, we need to be cautious while proactively understanding any new evolving patterns. All leading health authorities strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccination before or during pregnancy to reduce the risk of maternal morbidities and benefit from passing antibodies to newborns prenatally and via breastmilk. Additionally, there are racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in outcomes and vaccination coverage for pregnant women. This article summarizes the rapidly evolving evidence for the last 1.5 years and aims to help health care professionals care for mothers with COVID-19 and their newborns. KEY POINTS: Â· COVID-19 in pregnancy can cause perinatal morbidities.. Â· Breastfeeding and breast milk are safe for newborns.. Â· COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk for morbidities..
The impact of donor breast milk on metabolic bone disease, postnatal growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18 months corrected age
BACKGROUND:Preterm infants are at high risk for metabolic bone disease (MBD). Analysis of donor breast milk (DBM) shows lower levels of macronutrients compared to mother's own milk (MOM). The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of MBD, rate of postnatal growth, and long-term neurodevelopmental (ND) outcomes in infants fed predominantly MOM vs. DBM. METHODS:Retrospective observational study of infants born < 1500g and < 32 weeks at NYU Langone Health or Bellevue Hospital from January 2014 to January 2018. Infants were divided into two groups, those who received > 70% of feeds with either MOM or DBM by 34 weeks CA. MBD was assessed using alkaline phosphatase (AlkPO4) levels and x-ray findings. Data was also collected on growth, feeding tolerance, and long-term ND outcomes. RESULTS:210 infants were included: 156 in MOM and 54 in DBM group. The DBM group had higher AlkPO4 levels compared to the MOM group for the first 3 weeks of life (p < 0.01). Growth was similar between the groups and both groups demonstrated catch-up growth after discharge. No difference was seen in feeding intolerance, incidence of NEC, or sepsis. The DBM group had lower cognitive (OR 0.93 [0.88-0.98], p < 0.01) and language (OR 0.95 [0.90-0.99], p < 0.01) scores at 18-month CA. CONCLUSIONS:Infants fed predominantly DBM had elevated AlkPO4 levels suggestive of MBD, but did not develop significant osteopenia. Despite appropriate growth and comparable short-term outcomes, infants fed DBM had lower cognitive and language scores at 18-month CA. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The value of routine laboratory screening in the neonatal intensive care unit
BACKGROUND:Healthcare spending is expected to grow faster than the economy over the next decade, and the cost of prematurity increases annually. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of intervention after routine laboratory testing in preterm infants. METHODS:This was a retrospective study of preterm infants (â‰¤34 weeks) admitted to the NYU Langone Health NICU from June 2013 to December 2014. Data collected included demographics, results of laboratory tests, and resulting interventions. Intervention after a hemogram was defined as a blood transfusion. Intervention after a hepatic panel was defined as initiation or termination of ursodiol or change in dose of vitamin D. Subjects were stratified into 3 groups based on gestation (<28 weeks, 28-31 6/7 weeks, 32-34 weeks). Chi-square analysis was used to compare the frequency of intervention between the groups. RESULTS:A total of 135 subjects were included in the study. The frequency of intervention after a hemogram was 8.4% in infants <28 weeks, 4.6% in infants 28-31 6/7 weeks, and 0% in infants 32-34 weeks; this difference was found to be statistically significant (pâ€Š=â€Š0.02). The frequency of intervention after a hepatic panel was 4.2% in infants <28 weeks, 5.7% in infants 28-31 6/7 weeks, and 0% in infants 32-34 weeks, which was not found to be a statistically significant different. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:No interventions were undertaken post-routine laboratory testing in any infant 32-34 weeks and routine testing in this population may be unnecessary. Further studies are needed to elucidate if routine testing affects neonatal outcomes.
Standardized Nutrition Protocol for Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants Resulted in Less Use of Parenteral Nutrition and Associated Complications, Better Growth, and Lower Rates of Necrotizing Enterocolitis
BACKGROUND:We assessed the impact of a standardized nutrition initiative for very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants on their nutrition and clinical outcomes. METHODS:This was a prospective analysis of VLBW infants born before and after the initiation of a nutrition protocol. This protocol included trophic feeds, feeding advancement, fortification guidelines, parameters on the concentration of parenteral nutrition (PN), and the discontinuation of PN and central lines. Gastric residual monitoring was discontinued. Statistical analyses were performed with Fisher's exact and Student's t-tests. Primary outcome measures were days receiving PN, days made nil per os (NPO) after feeding initiation, necrotizing enterocolitis, and growth parameters. Secondary outcome measures were central-line days, sepsis, blood transfusions, cholestasis, osteopenia, chronic lung disease, and retinopathy of prematurity. RESULTS:136 VLBW infants were analyzed, including 77 in the preprotocol group and 59 in the postprotocol group. Infants postprotocol were found to have reduced PN days (26.1 versus [vs] 18.4, P < .01), fewer days made NPO after feeding initiation (7.2 vs 4.0, P = .02), NEC (7.8% vs 0%, P = 0.038), central-line days (26.5 vs 18.6, P < .01), cholestasis (16% vs 3%, PÂ =Â .02), and blood transfusions (5.3 vs 3.1, P = .028). Growth, defined by change in z-score from birth to discharge, improved for weight (-1.3 vs -0.8, P < .01), length (-1.5 vs -1.0, P = .033), and head (-1.1 vs -0.6, P = .024). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Initiation of a standardized nutrition initiative for VLBW infants significantly improved growth, reduced PN use, and improved patient outcomes.
Neural Breathing Pattern and Patient-Ventilator Interaction During Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist and Conventional Ventilation in Newborns
OBJECTIVE: To compare neurally adjusted ventilatory assist and conventional ventilation on patient-ventilator interaction and neural breathing patterns, with a focus on central apnea in preterm infants. DESIGN: Prospective, observational cross-over study of intubated and ventilated newborns. Data were collected while infants were successively ventilated with three different ventilator conditions (30 min each period): 1) synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation (SIMV) combined with pressure support at the clinically prescribed, SIMV with baseline settings (SIMVBL), 2) neurally adjusted ventilatory assist, 3) same as SIMVBL, but with an adjustment of the inspiratory time of the mandatory breaths (SIMV with adjusted settings [SIMVADJ]) using feedback from the electrical activity of the diaphragm). SETTING: Regional perinatal center neonatal ICU. PATIENTS: Neonates admitted in the neonatal ICU requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-three infants were studied, with median (range) gestational age at birth 27 weeks (24-41 wk), birth weight 780 g (490-3,610 g), and 7 days old (1-87 d old). Patient ventilator asynchrony, as quantified by the NeuroSync index, was lower during neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (18.3% +/- 6.3%) compared with SIMVBL (46.5% +/-11.7%; p < 0.05) and SIMVADJ (45.8% +/- 9.4%; p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in neural breathing parameters, or vital signs, except for the end-expiratory electrical activity of the diaphragm, which was lower during neurally adjusted ventilatory assist. Central apnea, defined as a flat electrical activity of the diaphragm more than 5 seconds, was significantly reduced during neurally adjusted ventilatory assist compared with both SIMV periods. These results were comparable for term and preterm infants. CONCLUSIONS: Patient-ventilator interaction appears to be improved with neurally adjusted ventilatory assist. Analysis of the neural breathing pattern revealed a reduction in central apnea during neurally adjusted ventilatory assist use.
Virtual radiology rounds: adding value in the digital era
BACKGROUND: To preserve radiology rounds in the changing health care environment, we have introduced virtual radiology rounds, an initiative enabling clinicians to remotely review imaging studies with the radiologist. OBJECTIVE: We describe our initial experience with virtual radiology rounds and referring provider impressions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Virtual radiology rounds, a web-based conference, use remote sharing of radiology workstations. Participants discuss imaging studies by speakerphone. Virtual radiology rounds were piloted with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Congenital Cardiovascular Care Unit (CCVCU). Providers completed a survey assessing the perceived impact and overall value of virtual radiology rounds on patient care using a 10-point scale. Pediatric radiologists participating in virtual radiology rounds completed a survey assessing technical, educational and clinical aspects of this methodology. RESULTS: Sixteen providers responded to the survey; 9 NICU and 7 CCVCU staff (physicians, nurse practitioners and fellows). Virtual radiology rounds occurred 4-5 sessions/week with an average of 6.4 studies. Clinicians rated confidence in their own image interpretation with a 7.4 average rating for NICU and 7.5 average rating for CCVCU. Clinicians unanimously rated virtual radiology rounds as adding value. NICU staff preferred virtual radiology rounds to traditional rounds and CCVCU staff supported their new participation in virtual radiology rounds. Four of the five pediatric radiologists participating in virtual radiology rounds responded to the survey reporting virtual radiology rounds to be easy to facilitate (average rating: 9.3), to moderately impact interpretation of imaging studies (average rating: 6), and to provide substantial educational value for radiologists (average rating: 8.3). All pediatric radiologists felt strongly that virtual radiology rounds enable increased integration of the radiologist into the clinical care team (average rating: 8.8). CONCLUSION: Virtual radiology rounds are a viable alternative to radiology rounds enabling improved patient care and education of providers.
The Effect of Breastfeeding Education in the NICU on Post-Discharge Breastfeeding Duration
Evacuation of a neonatal intensive care unit in a disaster: lessons from hurricane sandy
NICU patients are among those potentially most vulnerable to the effects of natural or man-made disaster on a medical center. The published data on evacuations of NICU patients in the setting of disaster are sparse. In October of 2012, New York University Langone Medical Center was evacuated during Hurricane Sandy in the setting of a power outage secondary to a coastal surge. In this setting, 21 neonates were safely evacuated from the medical center's NICU to receiving hospitals within New York City in a span of 4.5 hours. Using data recorded during the evacuation and from staff debriefings, we describe the challenges faced and lessons learned during both the power outage and vertical evacuation. From our experience, we identify several elements that are important to the functioning of an NICU in a disaster or to an evacuation that may be incorporated into future NICU-focused disaster planning. These include a clear command structure, backups (personnel, communication, medical information, and equipment), establishing situational awareness, regional coordination, and flexibility as well as special attention to families and to the availability of neonatal transport resources.
Development of a statewide collaborative to decrease NICU central line-associated bloodstream infections
OBJECTIVE:To characterize hospital-acquired bloodstream infection rates among New York State's 19 regional referral NICUs (at regional perinatal centers; RPCs) and develop strategies to promote best practices to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:During 2006 and 2007, RPC NICUs reported bloodstream infections, patient-days and central line-days to the Department of Health, and shared their results. Aiming to improve, participants created a central line-care bundle based on visiting a potentially best performing NICU and reviewing the literature. RESULT/RESULTS:All 19 RPCs participated in this quality initiative, contributing 218,096 patient-days and 56,911 central line-days of observation. Individual RPC nosocomial sepsis infection (NI) rates ranged from 1.0 to 5.8 NIs per 1000 patient-days (2006), and CLABSI rates ranged from 2.6 to 15.1 CLABSIs per 1000 central line-days (2007). A six-fold rate variation among RPC NICUs was observed. Participants unanimously approved a level-1 evidence-based central line-care bundle. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Individual RPC rates and consequent morbidity and resource use attributable to these infections were substantial and varied greatly. No center was without infections. It is hoped that the cooperation and accountability exhibited by the RPCs will result in a major network for characterizing performance and improving outcomes.
Respiratory syncytial virus as a cause of pulmonary hemorrhage in a low birth weight infant - Strategies for protection and prevention: A case report
Introduction: Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a common neonatal pathogen. Here we present a case of a premature, low birth weight infant who contracted respiratory syncytial virus and developed a severe pulmonary hemorrhage. Case presentation: A 12-day-old Asian male, former 30-week premature infant with a birth weight of 1025 grams presented with nasal secretions, episodes of desaturations and increased work of breathing. The infant developed a pulmonary hemorrhage. Secretions during tracheal lavage were positive for respiratory syncytial virus on rapid fluorescence assay. After supportive care, the patient improved. Isolation, cohorting techniques and reinforcement of strict hand-washing guidelines prevented an outbreak to other infants. Conclusion: This original case report presents an uncommon presentation of respiratory syncytial virus infection, a common pediatric pathogen. Neonatologists should consider evaluating patients with pulmonary hemorrhage for respiratory syncytial virus if preceding symptoms are consistent with that infectious illness