A new milestone in implementation: Italian ESCNH now available in every NICU


Italy has achieved what many other countries strive for – they have not only translated the entire set of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health (ESCNH) as first European country, the team of the Italian Society of Neonatology (SIN) have also distributed the Italian ESCNH version in book format to every NICU across the state. These great achievements lay the cornerstones for a successful implementation of the ESCNH in Italy.   © Pixabay / Dianne Hope   We congratulate Dr Gina Ancora (coordinator) and the entire team at SIN together with the Italian National Coordination of Parents’ Associations, Vivere ONLUS, for this unique accomplishment. The entire endeavour can be seen as a best practise example for collaboration between a parent organisation and a healthcare professional society unified by their common goal to improve the care for newborn infants in their country.   Their collaborative work was also honoured earlier this year by receiving the jENS Award of 2021. We thank Dr Gina Ancora and Monica Ceccatelli as representatives of their organisations for their great cooperation and leadership. Thanks go also out to everyone else involved, especially the translators, for their hard work, dedication, and trailblazing spirit.   Making the ESCNH available in Italian promises to change our understanding of adequate neonatal care by including more people in the conversation. It will support NICUs across Italy in putting the ESCNH into daily practice.   You can access the Italian version of the ESCNH on our website.   The project to translate the ESCNH into Italian was kindly supported by AbbVie.   In 2021, the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health are financially supported by AstraZeneca, Baxter, GE Healthcare, Nestlé Nutrition Institute, and Prolacta Bioscience® Inc.  

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Lifecycle 2021: Results of the public consultation phase


We are pleased to announce that the first public consultation of the 20 standards that are currently under revision was a great success. In total, we received 252 complete questionnaires of more than 60 participants across Europe and beyond. Respondents of 24 countries took part in the consultation with most feedback coming from the Czech Republic. On average, we received approximately 12 questionnaires per standards. The standards with the greatest number of respondents were “Hypoglycaemia in at risk term infants” and “Promotion of breastfeeding”, both with a total of 19 replies, followed closely by “Management of Respiratory Distress Syndrome” and “Parental involvement” with 18 responses.     What’s next? The first authors of the standards (and their author team) will receive the comments of the public consultation. Additionally, feedback from our independent reviewers (expert consultation) will be added to the comments of the public consultation. After the authors have revised the standards, all comments will be published on this website for reasons of transparency. Please note that respondents could request that their contribution would not be published, when stating ample justification. In accordance with our privacy policy, names are displayed only if approved by the respondents (more information can be found here). We want to express our deepest gratitude to all participants and to our partners and supporters for promoting as well as joining the public consultation. We are very grateful to draw on such a strong and active network.   Interested in the revision of the ESCNH? The next public consultation is coming up at the end of 2022 / beginning of 2023 for all standards following a 5-year lifecycle. More information will come soon on this website.  

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“Don’t cancel the appointment before you have a Plan B”


The COVID-19 pandemic has been raging across the globe for more than a year now. Healthcare systems have been brought to the brink and, as a consequence, maternal and newborn health services have been disrupted in many countries as hospitals were forced to reallocate their resources elsewhere and take measures to protect staff and patients from a possible COVID-19 infection.   Babies born too soon, too small, or too sick are especially at risk when it comes to COVID-19. Not only are they extremely vulnerable to infections due to an immature immune system, they also often already have other health challenges which require more long-term continuing or follow-up care. In these cases, families are faced with a dilemma: If they stay home and isolate in order to protect themselves from COVID-19 and the repercussions of a possible infection, they miss out on important follow-up treatment and targeted therapy. If families do choose to attend follow-up care and therapy appointments, they risk contracting COVID-19, which could endanger themselves and eventually their preterm or sick child.   The Standards of Care for Newborn Health also focus on the importance of follow-up and continuing care and argue in favour of targeted and structured follow-up systems and continuing care for preterm and sick babies. But how can parents organise follow-up appointments in times of COVID-19? How can families organise continuing care in a way that keeps vulnerable babies (and older children) safe?   EFCNI’s Dr. Annika Brunck spoke with Dr. Britta Hüning, a paediatrician and neonatologist at the University Hospital Essen in Germany, about these and other questions. Dr. Hüning has helped author the standard on “Transition from hospital to home” and is also very experienced in advising and supporting parents of preterm and sick babies. Her biggest advice: “Don’t cancel the appointment before you have a Plan B!”   Watch the full interview below.  

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