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Authors

  1. August, Deanne L. GradCirt
  2. Kandasamy, Yoga PhD
  3. Ray, Robin PhD
  4. Lindsay, Daniel PhD
  5. New, Karen PhD

Abstract

The objective of this study was to explore neonatal skin injury period prevalence, classification, and risk factors. Skin injury period prevalence over 9 months and [chi]2, Mann-Whitney U, and independent-samples t tests compared injured and noninjured neonates, with P values less than .05 considered statistically significant. Injury prediction models were developed using Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis for the entire cohort and separately for those classified as high or low acuity. The study took place in 3 Australian and New Zealand units. Neonates enrolled (N = 501) had a mean birth gestational age of 33.48 +/- 4.61 weeks and weight of 2138.81 +/- 998.92 g. Of the 501 enrolled neonates, 206 sustained skin injuries (41.1%), resulting in 391 injuries to the feet (16.4%; n = 64), cheek (12.5%; n = 49), and nose (11.3%; n = 44). Medical devices were directly associated with 61.4% (n = 240) of injuries; of these medical devices, 50.0% (n = 120) were unable to be repositioned and remained in a fixed position for treatment duration. The strongest predictor of skin injury was birth gestation of 30 weeks or less, followed by length of stay of more than 12 days, and birth weight of less than 1255 g. Prediction for injury based on illness acuity identified neonates less than 30 weeks' gestation and length of stay more than 39 days were at a greater risk (high acuity), as well as neonates less than 33 weeks' gestation and length of stay of more than 9 days (low acuity). More than 40% of hospitalized neonates acquired skin injury, of which the majority skin injuries were associated with medical devices required to sustain life. Increased neonatal clinician education and improved skin injury frameworks, informed by neonatal epidemiological data, are vital for the development of effective prevention strategies.