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Preterm care during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparative risk analysis of neonatal deaths averted by kangaroo mother care versus mortality due to SARS-CoV-2 infection


Two new studies found that the global COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the level and quality of care given to newborns.
The first paper surveyed healthcare professionals for their experiences of working during the pandemic, finding that hospital staff have been suffering from increased stress and anxiety levels as the pandemic rages on. More troubling, the spike in COVID-19 cases has forced some hospitals to move equipment, especially oxygen supplies, from neonatal units to COVID-19 wards. Doctors and nurses have also been reallocated at times, leaving neonatal units understaffed and underequipped.
However, a crucial finding of the survey is that two-thirds of health workers do not support kangaroo care between parents and baby after birth if the mothers have tested positive for COVID-19 or if their test status is unclear. This leads the researchers to conclude that parents and babies were often separated – not because of medical necessity but because the medical staff was worried about contracting and spreading the virus.
In the second study, a comparative risk analysis, the team of researchers evaluated the risks of contracting COVID-19 and compared them to the health risks for newborns if kangaroo care is NOT practiced. They conclude that the benefits of kangaroo care are 65-fold higher than the mortality risk of COVID-19, meaning that the advantages of direct skin-to-skin care between parents and baby far outweigh the small risk of death due to COVID-19. (Shared by EFCNI)
Read more about the survey here:
You can find the comparative risk analysis of the benefits of kangaroo care here:
“Findings:  Our worst-case scenario (100% transmission) could result in 1,950 neonatal deaths from COVID-19. Conversely, 125,680 neonatal lives could be saved with universal KMC coverage. Hence, the benefit of KMC is 65-fold higher than the mortality risk of COVID-19. If recent evidence of 10% transmission was applied, the ratio would be 630-fold. We estimated a 50% reduction in KMC coverage could result in 12,570 incremental deaths and full disruption could result in 25,140 incremental deaths, representing a 2·3–4·6% increase in neonatal mortality across the 127 countries.”
Read more about the survey "Small and sick newborn care during the COVID-19 pandemic: global survey and thematic analysis of healthcare providers’ voices and experiences":

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