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US NICUs and donor milk banks brace for COVID-19

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Bryant Furlow, US NICUs and donor milk banks brace for COVID-19, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Volume 4, Issue 5, 2020, Page 355, ISSN 2352-4642, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30103-6.

Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and donor human milk programmes across the USA are bracing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. NICU workers have tested positive for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. A worker at the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center NICU in Omaha (NE) was in contact with ten patients 3–4 days before testing positive for the virus, according to a March 25 report by the Associated Press. In Alabama, at least one newborn was placed in isolation after a NICU nurse tested positive. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced on March 28 that an infant who tested positive for COVID-19 had died in Chicago—the first infant death in the US outbreak. But state officials contacted by The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health would not confirm whether or not that baby had been treated at a NICU.

The pandemic is a quickly evolving challenge for labour and delivery units and NICUs. “Every day is a different set of data, and we’re really trying to manage how we’re dealing with our workforce and how it interacts with the mother and baby”, said Jae Kim, Director of the Division of Neonatology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (Cincinnati, OH, USA).

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