Published on Mon Oct 05 2020

Extremely preterm infant admissions within the SafeBoosC-III consortium during the COVID-19 lockdown

Rasmussen, M. I., Hansen, M. L., Pichler, G., Dempsey, E., Pellicer, A., EL-Khuffash, A., A, S., Piris-Borregas, S., Alsina, M., Cetinkaya, M., Chalak, L., Ozkan, H., Baserga, M., Sirc, J., Fuchs, H., Ergenekon, E., Arruza, L., Mathur, A., Stocker, M., Otero-Vaccarello, O., Szczapa, T., Sarafidis, K., Krolak-Olejnik, B., Memisoglu, A., Reigstad, H., Rafinska-Wazny, E., Hatzidaki, E., Peng, Z., Gkentzi, D., Viellevoye, R., De Buyst, J., Mastretta, E., Wang, P., Hahn, G., Bender, L., Cornette, L., Tkaczyk, J., del Rio, R., Fumagalli, M., Papathoma, E., Wilinska, M., Naulers, G., Sadowska-Kakrawc

This is a retrospective, observational study. Forty-six out of 79 NICUs (58%) from 17 countries participated. There was no significant difference between the number of EP infant admissions during the three most rigorous lockdown months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Abstract

ObjectiveTo evaluate if the number of admitted extremely preterm (EP) infants (born before 28 weeks of gestational age) has changed in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) of the SafeBoosC-III consortium during the global lockdown when compared to the corresponding time period in 2019. DesignThis is a retrospective, observational study. Forty-six out of 79 NICUs (58%) from 17 countries participated. Principal investigators were asked to report the following information: 1) Total number of EP infant admissions to their NICU in the three months where the lockdown restrictions were most rigorous during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2) Similar EP infant admissions in the corresponding three months of 2019, 3) the level of local restrictions during the lockdown period and 4) the local impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the everyday life of a pregnant woman. ResultsThere was no significant difference between the number of EP infant admissions during the three most rigorous lockdown months of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the corresponding three months in 2019 (n=428 versus n=457 respectively, p=0.33). There were no significant changes within individual geographic regions and no significant association between the level of lockdown restrictions and change in the number of EP infant admissions (p=0.334). ConclusionThis larger ad hoc study did not confirm previous studies report of a major reduction in the number of extremely preterm births during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.