Feasibility of Pulse Oximetry Pre-discharge Screening Implementation for detecting Critical Congenital heart Lesions in newborns in a secondary level maternity hospital in the Western Cape, South Africa: The ‘POPSICLe’ study
Background. Early detection of critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) through newborn pulse oximetry (POx) screening is an effective strategy for reducing paediatric morbidity and mortality rates and has been adopted by much of the developed world.
Objectives. To document the feasibility of implementing pre-discharge POx screening in well babies born at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, a busy government hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Parent and staff acceptance was assessed.
Methods. We conducted a prospective study of predischarge POx screening in one postnatal ward, following informed parental consent.
Results. During the 4-month study period, 1 017 of 2 256 babies discharged (45.1%) were offered POx screening and 1 001 were screened; 94.0% of tests took <3 minutes to perform, 4.3% 3 - 5 minutes and 1.7% >5 minutes. Eighteen patients needed second screens and three required third screens. Only 3.1% protocol errors were made, all without consequence. The vast majority (91.6%) of nursing staff reported insufficient time to perform the study screening in addition to their daily tasks, but ~75% felt that with a full nursing staff complement and if done routinely (not part of a study), pre-discharge POx screening could be successfully instituted at our facility. Over 98% of the mothers had positive comments. Two babies failed screening and required echocardiograms; one was diagnosed with CCHD and the other with neonatal sepsis. The sensitivity and specificity were 50% (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3 - 98.7%) and 99.9% (95% CI 99.4 - 100%), respectively, with a percentage correct of 99.8%.
Conclusions. POx screening was supported and accepted by staff and parents. If there are no nursing staff shortages and if it is done routinely before discharge, not as part of a study, we conclude that POx screening could be implemented successfully without excessive false positives or errors, or any additional burden to cardiology services.
A M van Niekerk, Division of Neonatal Medicine, School of Child and Adolescent Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town; Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
R M Cullis, Division of Neonatal Medicine, School of Child and Adolescent Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town; Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
L L Linley, Division of Neonatal Medicine, School of Child and Adolescent Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town; Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
L Zühlke, Department of Paediatrics, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
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Date published: 2016-07-07
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