Document Detail

Effect of topical treatment with skin barrier-enhancing emollients on nosocomial infections in preterm infants in Bangladesh: a randomised controlled trial.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15781099     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Infections and complications of prematurity are main causes of neonatal mortality. Very low birthweight premature infants have compromised skin barrier function, and are at especially high risk for serious infections and mortality. Our aim was to ascertain whether topical application of emollients to enhance skin barrier function would prevent nosocomial infections in this population. METHODS: We randomly assigned infants born before week 33 of gestation after admission to Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Bangladesh, to daily massage with sunflower seed oil (n=159) or Aquaphor (petrolatum, mineral oil, mineral wax, lanolin alcohol; n=157). We then compared incidence of nosocomial infections among infants in these two groups with an untreated control group (n=181) by an intention-to-treat analysis. FINDINGS: 20 patients in the control group, and 22 in each of the treatment groups left the hospital early, but were included in the final analysis. Overall, infants treated with sunflower seed oil were 41% less likely to develop nosocomial infections than controls (adjusted incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.59, 95% CI 0.37-0.96, p=0.032). Aquaphor did not significantly reduce the risk of infection (0.60, 0.35-1.03, p=0.065). No adverse events were seen. INTERPRETATION: Our findings confirm that skin application of sunflower seed oil provides protection against nosocomial infections in preterm very low birthweight infants. The low cost, availability, simplicity, and effect of treatment make it an important intervention for very low birthweight infants admitted to hospital in developing countries.
Gary L Darmstadt; Samir K Saha; A S M Nawshad Uddin Ahmed; M A K Azad Chowdhury; Paul A Law; Saifuddin Ahmed; Muhammad Asif Alam; Robert E Black; Mathuram Santosham
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Lancet     Volume:  365     ISSN:  1474-547X     ISO Abbreviation:  Lancet     Publication Date:    2005 Mar 19-25
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-03-22     Completed Date:  2005-04-12     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985213R     Medline TA:  Lancet     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1039-45     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cross Infection / prevention & control*
Developing Countries
Emollients / administration & dosage*
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature, Diseases / prevention & control*
Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
Petrolatum / administration & dosage
Plant Oils / administration & dosage
Skin / microbiology*
Skin Care*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Emollients; 0/Plant Oils; 8009-03-8/Petrolatum

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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