Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Impact of COVID-19 on term admissions to neonatal care

This article analyses a retrospective study of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on term admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Sunderland Royal Hospital. Using data gathered between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020, the results from this repeat audit are compared with admission data from previous years and with figures from NHS England. This audit considers the impact of the pandemic on term admissions to the NICU, with a focus on social causes and other potentially avoidable reasons for admission.

James M. Hardy
Medical Student
Newcastle University Medical School

Sabina Iqbal
Medical Student
Newcastle University Medical School

Ruppa M. Geethanath
Neonatal Consultant, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Sunderland Royal Hospital

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admission cause; neonatal intensive care; social admissions; term admissions; COVID-19
Key points
  1. Term admissions as a percentage of all admissions to the NICU at SRH decreased between 2014 and 2019; however, there was an increase of 6% in 2020.
  2. The proportion of term infants admitted to SRH NICU for social reasons continues to be higher than the national average, though it decreased greatly between 2019 and 2020.
  3. Respiratory disease admissions increased in 2020, contributing to 57.1% of term admissions.
  4. Antenatal steroids were given to all eligible term mothers who underwent elective C-section before 39 weeks’ gestation in 2020 at SRH, as per national guidelines.

Also published in Infant:

Minimising COVID-19 transmission risk during neonatal transport: a practical approach from ANTS
The Acute Neonatal Transfer Service of the East of England (ANTS) has been involved in the transfer of four suspected or confirmed neonatal SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) cases. Through this unique clinical experience and related educational activities, we have constructed additional practical recommendations aimed at minimising horizontal SARS-CoV-2 spread during neonatal transfer. Here we present these recommendations for consideration by neonatal transport teams and neonatal units managing neonatal COVID-19 transfers.