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A multicentre neonatal manikin study showed a large heterogeneity in tactile stimulation for apnoea of prematurity.

Acta Paediatrica 2024 April 3
AIM: Apnoea of prematurity requires prompt intervention to prevent long-term adverse outcomes, but specific recommendations about the stimulation approach are lacking. Our study investigated the modalities of tactile stimulation for apnoea of prematurity in different settings.

METHODS: In this multi-country observational prospective study, nurses and physicians of the neonatal intensive care units were asked to perform a tactile stimulation on a preterm neonatal manikin simulating an apnoea. Features of the stimulation (body location and hand movements) and source of learning (training course or clinical practice) were collected.

RESULTS: Overall, 112 healthcare providers from five hospitals participated in the study. During the stimulation, the most frequent location were feet (72%) and back (61%), while the most frequent techniques were rubbing (64%) and massaging (43%). Stimulation modalities different among participants according to their hospitals and their source of learning of the stimulation procedures.

CONCLUSION: There was a large heterogeneity in stimulation approaches adopted by healthcare providers to counteract apnoea in a simulated preterm infant. This finding may be partially explained by the lack of specific guidelines and was influenced by the source of learning for tactile stimulation.

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