Northern Sydney Local Health District
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Royal North Shore Hospital implemented several strategies to improve the nutrition of our smallest preterm patients.
Through this, the long NICU stay has become significantly safer because they are less dependent on intravenous nutrition and central venous lines. They now have a significantly decreased risk of acquiring infections and needing antibiotics.
We introduced a new algorithm to assess how the infants tolerated milk feeds and were the first NICU in NSW to do so without the measurement of gastric aspirates. A joint effort of the staff from NICU and birth unit saw improved early expression of the mothers’ breast milk. The introduction of pasteurized donor human breast milk allowed the early provision of milk for all infants.
The sustainable and scalable strategies requires very few resources and have proven to be safe and highly cost effective.