On 19 October and on 3 November 2023, the NeoIPC WP2-TRIAL team successfully hosted two NeoDeco Country Investigator Meetings. One took place in Zurich, Switzerland, and the other in Thessaloniki, Greece, marking the beginning of a series of meetings involving the various sites participating in the NeoIPC study, NeoDeco.
NeoDeco is a multi-centre, parallel cluster randomised hybrid effectiveness-implementation study that will evaluate if optimised kangaroo care, conducted alongside the surveillance of hospital-acquired infections and implementation support activities, can reduce severe neonatal infection, sepsis and resistant bacterial colonisation in high-risk newborns. Set to commence at the beginning of 2024, the study will be carried out in 24 NICUs in five European countries – Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. It will involve very preterm infants admitted to participating NICUs.
The NeoDeco Country Investigator Meetings are valuable opportunities for the NeoIPC TRIAL team to engage and coordinate with NICU staff that will be responsible for conducting the study. Presentations by the NeoIPC team – made up of representatives from Penta, St George’s – University of London, UMCU and Ecraid – focused on clarifying the study design and protocol, as well as the specific activities associated with the study. Discussions on the NeoDeco protocol provided crucial insights on the implementation of the study and addressed questions and potential challenges brought up by the participating units. Finally, representatives from the University of Zurich team introduced the implementation support activities that will be delivered to sites allocated to the intervention arm.
The complete schedule for the NeoDeco Investigator Meetings is as follows:
- Switzerland (October 2023)
- Greece (November 2023)
- Italy (December 2023)
- Spain (early 2024)
- United Kingdom (early 2024)
In Europe, almost one in ten newborns requires admission to a neonatal intensive care unit within the first days of life. While care in a neonatal unit significantly enhances the chances of survival for these babies, it also increases the risk of exposure to bacteria found in the hospital environment, many of which are resistant to antibiotics. These can cause difficult-to-treat infections and sepsis.
If NeoDeco proves successful, NeoIPC could present a simple, safe and low-cost intervention to protect newborns from being colonised by resistant bacteria found in the hospital environment, which can cause severe neonatal infection and sepsis. Establishing kangaroo care as an effective infection prevention and control measure could also decrease the overall use of antibiotics across the NICU, therefore reducing the challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance in neonatal care.
In the photo: Participants in the Investigator Meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece, 3 November 2023.