Objectives: To determine the relationship between the emergence of COVID-19 and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) family presence as well as how NICU design affects these changes.
Study design: A cross-sectional survey from April 21 to 30, 2020. We queried sites regarding NICU demographics, NICU restrictions on parental presence, and changes in ancillary staff availability.
Results: Globally, 277 facilities responded to the survey. NICU policies preserving 24/7 parental presence decreased (83-53%, p < 0.001) and of preserving full parental participation in rounds fell (71-32%, p < 0.001). Single-family room design NICUs best preserved 24/7 parental presence after the emergence of COVID-19 (single-family room 65%, hybrid-design 57%, open bay design 45%, p = 0.018). In all, 120 (43%) NICUs reported reductions in therapy services, lactation medicine, and/or social work support.
Conclusions: Hospital restrictions have significantly limited parental presence for NICU admitted infants, although single-family room design may attenuate this effect.