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Management of respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants In Wales: a full audit cycle of a quality improvement project

Course, Christopher and Chakraborty, Mallinath 2020. Management of respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants In Wales: a full audit cycle of a quality improvement project. Scientific Reports 10 , 3536. 10.1038/s41598-020-60091-6

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Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is the commonest diagnosis after premature birth. We aimed to audit clinical practices before and after introduction of a national guideline in Wales on RDS management. Anonymised, prospective data on all infants born at <34 weeks of gestation and cared for at one of the participating neonatal units in Wales were collected in two six-month time periods in 2015 and 2018. A national guideline was introduced in 2016 by the Wales Neonatal Network. Data collection included areas of antenatal management, delivery room stabilisation, invasive and non-invasive respiratory support, surfactant treatment and elements of supportive care. Univariate and multivariate methods were used to compare data between the two epochs. Comparing care before and after introduction of the national guideline, areas of significant improvement include use of targeted tidal volume ventilation, use of caffeine therapy, oxygen therapy post-surfactant and increasing early use of parenteral nutrition. Areas of poorer management included levels of positive end expiratory pressures and timing of introduction of enteral feeds. Little variation was seen between level two and three units, although gestational age was a significant independent variable for several practices, including delayed cord clamping, stabilisation with intubation, early enteral feeding and caffeine administration. A national guideline for management of RDS in Wales has significantly improved practice in several areas. However, despite a large volume of high-quality evidence and robust guidance, there remains a significant variation in some elements of best practice for RDS management. Further work should focus on education and training, especially for elements requiring cross-departmental work.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 7 February 2020
Last Modified: 18 May 2021 15:30

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