Mese: Aprile 2021


Terzo appuntamento del ciclo “Profili Giuridici, Clinici ed Etici delle Cure Palliative in Pediatria”, webinar gratuito di approfondimento sugli aspetti trasversali e sulle questioni multidisciplinari relative alle cure palliative pediatriche, della Scuola di Formazione Maruzza Lyceum della Fondazione Maruzza.
L’incontro, che si terrà il 29 aprile, sarà moderato dal Consigliere di Cassazione Roberto Conti e prenderà avvio con la presentazione e discussione di casi clinici al fine di rinvenire, assieme al Dott. Barbisan (Servizio Bioetica- Azienda Ospedaliera-Università di Padova) e al Dott. Catalano (Casa Sollievo Bimbi – Associazione VIDAS),  gli strumenti etici e giuridici per la gestione e composizione di difficoltà di comunicazione, di relazione e di decisione nella cura del paziente pediatrico.

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Zeng LK, Zhu HP, Xiao TT, Peng SC, Yuan WH, Shao JB, Wang LS, Xiao FF, Xia SW, Lee SK, Yan K, Zhou WH. Short-term developmental outcomes in neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 from Wuhan, China. World J Pediatr. 2021 Apr 12:1–10. doi: 10.1007/s12519-021-00426-z. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33844176; PMCID: PMC8039812.

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging disease. The consequences of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in infants remain unknown. Therefore, this study aims to investigate whether neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 have adverse brain development.

Methods: This multicenter observational study was conducted at two designated maternal and children’s hospitals in Hubei Province, mainland China from February 1, 2020 to May 15, 2020. Neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 were enrolled. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, and volumes of grey and white matters, and physical growth parameters were observed at 44 weeks corrected gestational age.

Results: Of 72 neonates born to mothers with COVID-19, 8 (11%) were diagnosed with COVID-19, 8 (11%) were critically ill, and no deaths were reported. Among the eight neonates that underwent brain MRI at corrected gestational age of 44 weeks, five neonates were diagnosed with COVID-19. Among these five neonates, three presented abnormal MRI findings including abnormal signal in white matter and delayed myelination in newborn 2, delayed myelination and brain dysplasia in newborn 3, and abnormal signal in the bilateral periventricular in newborn 5. The other three neonates without COVID-19 presented no significantly changes of brain MRI findings and the volumes of grey matter and white matter compared to those of healthy newborns at the equivalent age (P > 0.05). Physical growth parameters for weight, length, and head circumference at gestational age of 44 weeks were all above the 3rd percentile for all neonates.

Conclusions: Some of the neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 had abnormal brain MRI findings but these neonates did not appear to have poor physical growth. These findings may provide the information on the follow-up schedule on the neonates exposed to SARS-CoV-2, but further study is required to evaluate the association between the abnormal MRI findings and the exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Villar J, Ariff S, Gunier RB, Thiruvengadam R, Rauch S, Kholin A, Roggero P, Prefumo F, do Vale MS, Cardona-Perez JA, Maiz N, Cetin I, Savasi V, Deruelle P, Easter SR, Sichitiu J, Soto Conti CP, Ernawati E, Mhatre M, Teji JS, Liu B, Capelli C, Oberto M, Salazar L, Gravett MG, Cavoretto PI, Nachinab VB, Galadanci H, Oros D, Ayede AI, Sentilhes L, Bako B, Savorani M, Cena H, García-May PK, Etuk S, Casale R, Abd-Elsalam S, Ikenoue S, Aminu MB, Vecciarelli C, Duro EA, Usman MA, John-Akinola Y, Nieto R, Ferrazi E, Bhutta ZA, Langer A, Kennedy SH, Papageorghiou AT. Maternal and Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality Among Pregnant Women With and Without COVID-19 Infection: The INTERCOVID Multinational Cohort Study. JAMA Pediatr. 2021 Apr 22. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.1050. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33885740.

Importance: Detailed information about the association of COVID-19 with outcomes in pregnant individuals compared with not-infected pregnant individuals is much needed.

Objective: To evaluate the risks associated with COVID-19 in pregnancy on maternal and neonatal outcomes compared with not-infected, concomitant pregnant individuals.

Design, setting, and participants: In this cohort study that took place from March to October 2020, involving 43 institutions in 18 countries, 2 unmatched, consecutive, not-infected women were concomitantly enrolled immediately after each infected woman was identified, at any stage of pregnancy or delivery, and at the same level of care to minimize bias. Women and neonates were followed up until hospital discharge.

Exposures: COVID-19 in pregnancy determined by laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 and/or radiological pulmonary findings or 2 or more predefined COVID-19 symptoms.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome measures were indices of (maternal and severe neonatal/perinatal) morbidity and mortality; the individual components of these indices were secondary outcomes. Models for these outcomes were adjusted for country, month entering study, maternal age, and history of morbidity.

Results: A total of 706 pregnant women with COVID-19 diagnosis and 1424 pregnant women without COVID-19 diagnosis were enrolled, all with broadly similar demographic characteristics (mean [SD] age, 30.2 [6.1] years). Overweight early in pregnancy occurred in 323 women (48.6%) with COVID-19 diagnosis and 554 women (40.2%) without. Women with COVID-19 diagnosis were at higher risk for preeclampsia/eclampsia (relative risk [RR], 1.76; 95% CI, 1.27-2.43), severe infections (RR, 3.38; 95% CI, 1.63-7.01), intensive care unit admission (RR, 5.04; 95% CI, 3.13-8.10), maternal mortality (RR, 22.3; 95% CI, 2.88-172), preterm birth (RR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.30-1.94), medically indicated preterm birth (RR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.56-2.51), severe neonatal morbidity index (RR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.69-4.18), and severe perinatal morbidity and mortality index (RR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.66-2.75). Fever and shortness of breath for any duration was associated with increased risk of severe maternal complications (RR, 2.56; 95% CI, 1.92-3.40) and neonatal complications (RR, 4.97; 95% CI, 2.11-11.69). Asymptomatic women with COVID-19 diagnosis remained at higher risk only for maternal morbidity (RR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.00-1.54) and preeclampsia (RR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.01-2.63). Among women who tested positive (98.1% by real-time polymerase chain reaction), 54 (13%) of their neonates tested positive. Cesarean delivery (RR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.18-3.91) but not breastfeeding (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.66-1.85) was associated with increased risk for neonatal test positivity.

Conclusions and relevance: In this multinational cohort study, COVID-19 in pregnancy was associated with consistent and substantial increases in severe maternal morbidity and mortality and neonatal complications when pregnant women with and without COVID-19 diagnosis were compared. The findings should alert pregnant individuals and clinicians to implement strictly all the recommended COVID-19 preventive measures.

Mark EG, McAleese S, Golden WC, Gilmore MM, Sick-Samuels A, Curless MS, Nogee LM, Milstone AM, Johnson J. Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Pregnancy and Outcomes Among Pregnant Women and Neonates: A Literature Review. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2021 May 1;40(5):473-478. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000003102. PMID: 33847297; PMCID: PMC8048372.

Limited data are available about the outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during pregnancy and risk of vertical transmission in exposed neonates. We reviewed studies published February 1, 2020, through August 15, 2020, on outcomes in pregnant women with COVID-19 and neonates with perinatal exposure. Among pregnant women with COVID-19, 181 (11%) required intensive care unit admission and 123 (8%) required mechanical ventilation. There were 22 maternal deaths. Most infections occurred in the third trimester. Among women who delivered, 28% had a preterm birth, and 57% had a Caesarean section. Sixty-one (4%) of 1222 neonates with reported testing had at least 1 positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 polymerase chain reaction test. The most common symptom among neonates was respiratory distress (n = 126; 21%). There were 14 neonatal deaths, one of which occurred in a neonate with positive testing. Further study of COVID-19 in pregnant women and neonates, including standardized reporting of outcomes, testing and treatment protocols, is essential to optimize maternal and neonatal care.

Klingenberg C, Tembulkar SK, Lavizzari A, Roehr CC, Ehret DEY, Vain NE, Mariani GL, Erdeve O, Lara-Diaz VJ, Velaphi S, Cheong HK, Bisht SS, Waheed KAI, Stevenson AG, Al-Kafi N, Roue JM, Barrero-Castillero A, Molloy EJ, Zupancic JAF, Profit J; International Neonatal COVID-19 Consortium. COVID-19 preparedness-a survey among neonatal care providers in low- and middle-income countries. J Perinatol. 2021 Apr 13:1–10. doi: 10.1038/s41372-021-01019-4. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33850282; PMCID: PMC8042838.

Objective: To evaluate COVID-19 pandemic preparedness, available resources, and guidelines for neonatal care delivery among neonatal health care providers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) across all continents.

Study design: Cross-sectional, web-based survey administered between May and June, 2020.

Results: Of 189 invited participants in 69 LMICs, we received 145 (77%) responses from 58 (84%) countries. The pandemic provides significant challenges to neonatal care, particularly in low-income countries. Respondents noted exacerbations of preexisting shortages in staffing, equipment, and isolation capabilities. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 9/35 (26%) respondents noted increased mortality in non-COVID-19-infected infants. Clinical practices on cord clamping, isolation, and breastfeeding varied widely, often not in line with World Health Organization guidelines. Most respondents noted family access restrictions, and limited shared decision-making.

Conclusions: Many LMICs face an exacerbation of preexisting resource challenges for neonatal care during the pandemic. Variable approaches to care delivery and deviations from guidelines provide opportunities for international collaborative improvement.

Angelidou A, Sullivan K, Melvin PR, Shui JE, Goldfarb IT, Bartolome R, Chaudhary N, Vaidya R, Culic I, Singh R, Yanni D, Patrizi S, Hudak ML, Parker MG, Belfort MB. Association of Maternal Perinatal SARS-CoV-2 Infection With Neonatal Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Massachusetts. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Apr 1;4(4):e217523. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.7523. PMID: 33890989.

Importance: The incidence of mother-to-newborn SARS-CoV-2 transmission appears low and may be associated with biological and social factors. However, data are limited on the factors associated with neonatal clinical or viral testing outcomes.

Objective: To ascertain the percentage of neonates who were born to mothers with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results during the birth hospitalization, the clinical and sociodemographic factors associated with neonatal test result positivity, and the clinical and virological outcomes for newborns during hospitalization and 30 days after discharge.

Design, setting, and participants: This multicenter cohort study included 11 academic or community hospitals in Massachusetts and mother-neonate dyads whose delivery and discharge occurred between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020. Eligible dyads were identified at each participating hospital through local COVID-19 surveillance and infection control systems. Neonates were born to mothers with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results within 14 days before to 72 hours after delivery, and neonates were followed up for 30 days after birth hospital discharge.

Exposures: Hypothesized maternal risk factors in neonatal test result positivity included maternal COVID-19 symptoms, vaginal delivery, rooming-in practice, Black race or Hispanic ethnicity, and zip code-derived social vulnerability index. Delivery indicated by worsening maternal COVID-19 symptoms was hypothesized to increase the risk of adverse neonatal health outcomes.

Main outcomes and measures: Primary outcomes for neonates were (1) positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, (2) indicators of adverse health, and (3) clinical signs and viral testing. Test result positivity was defined as at least 1 positive result on a specimen obtained by nasopharyngeal swab using a polymerase chain reaction-based method. Clinical and testing data were obtained from electronic medical records of nonroutine health care visits within 30 days after hospital discharge.

Results: The cohort included 255 neonates (mean [SD] gestational age at birth, 37.9 [2.6] weeks; 62 [24.3%] with low birth weight or preterm delivery) with 250 mothers (mean [SD] age, 30.4 [6.3] years; 121 [48.4%] were of Hispanic ethnicity). Of the 255 neonates who were born to mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 225 (88.2%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and 5 (2.2%) had positive results during the birth hospitalization. High maternal social vulnerability was associated with higher likelihood of neonatal test result positivity (adjusted odds ratio, 4.95; 95% CI, 1.53-16.01; P = .008), adjusted for maternal COVID-19 symptoms, delivery mode, and rooming-in practice. Adverse outcomes during hospitalization were associated with preterm delivery indicated by worsening maternal COVID-19 symptoms. Of the 151 newborns with follow-up data, 28 had nonroutine clinical visits, 7 underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing, and 1 had a positive result.

Conclusions and relevance: The findings emphasize the importance of both biological and social factors in perinatal SARS-CoV-2 infection outcomes. Newborns exposed to SARS-CoV-2 were at risk for both direct and indirect adverse health outcomes, supporting efforts of ongoing surveillance of the virus and long-term follow-up.

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