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Pediatrics. 2003 Apr;111(4 Pt 2):e489-96.

Evaluation and development of potentially better practices for the prevention of brain hemorrhage and ischemic brain injury in very low birth weight infants.

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Parkview Hospital, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.



Neonatal care providers from 5 institutions formed a multidisciplinary focus group with the purpose of identifying potentially better practices, the implementation of which would lead to a reduction in the incidence of intracranial hemorrhage and periventricular leukomalacia in very low birth weight infants.


Practices were analyzed, 4 benchmark neonatal intensive care units were identified and evaluated, and the literature was assessed using an evidence-based approach. The work was also reviewed by a nationally respected expert.


Ten potentially better clinical practices were identified. In addition, variability in cranial ultrasound practice, related to both procedural process and interpretation, was identified as a confounding problem in evaluating quality. Using the same process, potentially better cranial ultrasound practices were also identified.


Implementation of these practices will improve clinical outcomes as well as the reliability of sonogram interpretation, the basis for evaluating the quality of the team's work.

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