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Growth outcomes and cost effectiveness of kangaroo ward care versus intermediate intensive care in stable extremely low birth weight infants

Posted:  Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kangaroo ward care: Effects on infant growth outcomes

Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), a proven method of care for low birth weight infants (LBW) comprises three components: kangaroo position, kangaroo feeding policy and kangaroo discharge policy. Kangaroo Mother Care increases infant growth, mother-infant attachment, breastfeeding, and reduces hospital readmission, neonatal sepsis and mortality. Sharma et al. performed a secondary analysis to compare kangaroo ward care (KWC) with intermediate intensive care (IIC) to improve growth outcomes in stable extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants. Cost effective analysis of the KWC concept was also done to assess its monetary benefits. This study was published in The Journal of Maternal-Foetal and Neonatal Medicine.

The trial included 62 ELBW infants, 33 of whom were randomised to KWC and 29 were randomised to IIC on attaining a weight of 1150 grams. Immediately after randomisation, infants in the KWC group were shifted to the kangaroo ward. Infants in the IIC group received IIC care until they attained a weight of 1250 grams, after which they were shifted to the kangaroo ward. Growth was measured in terms of changes in weight, length and head circumference at term gestational age of 40 weeks.

The gain in weight (gram/day) and gain in length and head circumference (centimetre/week) were comparable between the two groups. In addition, the mean weight, length and head circumference were comparable at term gestational age. The KWC group was cost-effective and reduced the hospital and parents’ expenditure, thereby achieving a saving of about 452 USD for each patient.

Based on these findings, the study concluded that early shifting of ELBW infants to KWC is a very efficacious and cost-effective intervention compared to IIC to improve growth outcomes.

News source - Sharma D, Murki S, Oleti TP. To compare growth outcomes and cost effectiveness of ‘Kangaroo Ward Care’ with ‘Intermediate Intensive Care’ in stable extremely low birth weight infants: Randomized control trial. The Journal of Maternal-Foetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2016 Aug 30:1-7.