New publication highlights benefits of Kangaroo Care this Kangaroo Care Awareness Day

The 15th of May marks International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day, an annual event to highlight the importance of skin-to-skin contact between newborns and parents immediately after birth, especially to those in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

A recent publication sheds light on the significant positive impact Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) can have on the cardiorespiratory physiology of preterm infants in comparison to incubator care.

The Study:

The study1 from clinicians at Monash Children’s Hospital in Australia, presents findings from a prospective quasi-experimental observational study conducted in a 64-bed tertiary perinatal neonatal unit. The study included 50 very preterm infants (mean GA 28.4 ±2.1 weeks) managed with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Methodology:

Infants underwent continuous high-resolution preductal pulse-oximetry recordings for one hour each during both incubator care and KMC on the same day. Various measures of cardiorespiratory stability were assessed, including dips in oxygen saturations, percentage of time spent with oxygen saturations below 90%, SpO2 variability, heart rate fluctuations, and incidence of bradycardias.

Key Findings:

The results of the study revealed several significant improvements in cardiorespiratory stability during KMC compared to traditional incubator care:

  • Fewer dips in SpO2 of ≥5% less than baseline
  • Reduced SpO2 variability and rapid re-saturation and desaturation indices
  • Decreased percentage of time spent with oxygen saturations <90%
  • Lower fluctuations in heart rate
  • Decreased incidence of bradycardias

Implications:

These findings suggest that KMC has a significant stabilising impact on the cardiorespiratory stability of preterm infants on CPAP support. By providing skin-to-skin contact and close maternal bonding, KMC creates an environment that fosters stability and promotes physiological regulation in these fragile infants.

Conclusion:

International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day serves as an opportunity to share the invaluable benefits of KMC in improving the health outcomes of preterm infants. By integrating KMC into neonatal care protocols, healthcare providers can offer a holistic approach that not only addresses medical needs but also nurtures the emotional and developmental well-being of neonates and their families. With further research and advocacy, KMC has the potential to become a standard of care for preterm infants worldwide.

SurePulse:

SurePulse recognises the importance of Kangaroo Mother Care, including for those born preterm or low birthweight; Our vision is to give clinicians and healthcare providers the tools to provide optimal newborn care. We believe that wireless monitoring of key physiological vital signs will remove barriers to the increased provision of KMC – mothers (and partners) are often nervous about the welfare of their baby in providing Kangaroo Mother Care, and wireless monitoring has the potential to provide reassurance.  The SurePulse VS is SurePulse’s first device approved in the US, UK and EU for clinical use, and comprises a thermo-protective single-use cap that provides clinical teams with wireless, continuous and accurate heart rate information.

References:

  1. Sehgal A, Yeomans EJ, Nixon GM, Kangaroo mother care improves cardiorespiratory physiology in preterm infants: an observational study, Archives of Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition Published Online First: 27 March 2024. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2023-326748

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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