Postnatal corticosteroid usage in United Kingdom and Ireland neonatal units: Postnatal corticosteroid usage

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Aim: To perform a survey on postnatal corticosteroids usage in neonatal units in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Methods: An 18-item structured questionnaire was created asking for the level of neonatal care and corticosteroid prescribing practices. A consultant neonatologist or senor specialty training registrar/advanced neonatal nurse practitioner was contacted in every neonatal unit in the UK and Ireland between September and December 2022. Results: The response rate to the survey was 96% (203 of 211 units). Postnatal corticosteroids were prescribed in 48% of units: 5% of special care units, 43% of local neonatal units and 100% of neonatal intensive care units. Most units (90%) prescribed dexamethasone, which was prescribed to infants born at gestational ages less than 30 weeks in all those units prescribing postnatal corticosteroids, however, eight units also reported use in infants greater than 30 weeks of gestation. Dexamethasone regimens varied with starting doses from 50 to 500 μg/kg/day. Most tertiary units (97%) prescribed repeated courses of dexamethasone. In all levels of neonatal care, postnatal corticosteroids were prescribed to ventilated infants as well as those receiving non-invasive respiratory support. Conclusion: There is use of postnatal corticosteroids in all levels of neonatal care and much of the practice is not evidence based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2503-2506
Number of pages4
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number12
Early online date7 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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