Making the most of the single-family-room NICU

Steinhorn, R.H. (2016) The Journal of Pediatrics. Volume 177. pp. 1–2

A major change in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) design has been the replacement of open wards with private or single-family-rooms (SFR). The anticipated advantages of family privacy, lower light and noise levels, and improved infection control seemed to merit this switch despite the drawbacks of higher construction costs and staffing inefficiencies.

To add to these potential concerns, Pineda et al reported that neonates cared for in SFR had more abnormal brain structure and lower cerebral maturation scores at the time of discharge, as well as lower Bayley-III language and motor scores at age 2 years than their counterparts cared for in open wards (J Pediatr 2014;164:52-60).

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