Worse Outcomes for Mother-Infant Pairs in Separate ICUs

(HealthDay News) – Concurrent admission of a mother and her newborn to separate intensive care units (co-ICU) is associated with increased prevalence of mother-infant separation because of interfacility transfer, and with elevated mortality for both, according to a study published online Oct 22 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Joel G Ray, MD, from St. Michael’s Hospital at the University of Toronto, and colleagues examined the prevalence and predictors of mother-infant separation and mortality related to co-ICU admissions using data from 1,216 mother-infant pairs that had co-ICU admission; 897 live births with maternal admission only; 123,236 with neonatal ICU (NICU) admission only; and 898,629 with no ICU admission.

The researchers found that the prevalence of co-ICU admissions was 1.2 per 1,000 live births and was elevated compared with maternal ICU admissions (0.9 per 1,000). In the co-ICU group, maternal-newborn separation due to interfacility transfer was 30.8 times more common than in the no-ICU group, and exceeded the prevalence in the maternal ICU and NICU groups. Relative to the no-ICU group (0.7 per 1,000), short-term infant mortality was higher in the co-ICU group (18.1 per 1,000 live births; maternal age-adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 27.8) than in the NICU group (7.6 per 1,000; HR, 11.5). Higher short-term maternal mortality was also seen in the co-ICU group (15.6 per 1,000; HR, 328.7), compared with the maternal ICU group (6.7 per 1,000; HR, 140) or the NICU group (0.2 per 1,000; HR, 4.6).

“Mother-infant pairs in the co-ICU group had the highest prevalence of separation due to interfacility transfer and the highest mortality compared with those in the maternal ICU and NICU groups,” the authors write.

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