Effect of skin barrier therapy on neonatal mortality rates in preterm infants in bangladesh: A randomized, controlled, clinical trial

Gary L. Darmstadt, Samir K. Saha, A. S.M.Nawshad Uddin Ahmed, Saifuddin Ahmed, M. A.K.Azad Chowdhury, Paul A. Law, Rebecca E. Rosenberg, Robert E. Black, Mathuram Santosham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. Skin barrier therapy during the neonatal period, when the skin barrier is most highly compromised and the risk of death is greatest, has been shown to have a number of potential benefits, including reduced risk of nosocomial sepsis. Topical application of emollients that augment skin barrier function was evaluated as a strategy for improving survival rates among hospitalized preterm infants in Bangladesh. Methods. A prospective, randomized, controlled, clinical trial was conducted in the special care nursery at Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital, the largest tertiary care children's hospital in Bangladesh. Preterm infants (gestational age: ≤33 weeks; N = 497) received daily topical applications of sunflower seed oil or Aquaphor ointment. Neonatal mortality rates were compared in an intent-to-treat analysis with a control group that did not receive emollient therapy. Results. Treatment with sunflower seed oil resulted in a statistically significant 26% reduction in mortality rates, compared with infants not receiving topical emollient therapy. Aquaphor therapy also significantly reduced mortality rates, by 32%. Conclusions. Topical therapy with skin barrier-enhancing emollients improved survival rates among preterm hospitalized infants in Bangladesh. This study provides strong evidence for the implementation of topical therapy for high-risk preterm neonates in developing countries. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-529
Number of pages8
JournalPediatrics
Volume121
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

Keywords

  • Developing country
  • Emollient
  • Low birth weight
  • Mortality
  • Preterm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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