Policy Change for Infants Born at the “Cusp of Viability”: A Canadian NICU Experience
Resuscitation and life-support treatments for infants born at the “cusp of viability” continue to be subject to clinical and ethical debate. Reported positive outcomes for these infants led our Neonatal Program to critically review our historic practice of discouraging resuscitation of infants born at <24 weeks’ gestational age. This practice change required a multifaceted, collaborative approach including neonatal, perinatal, and obstetric efforts. An exceptional experience was the formation of a dedicated working group that included invaluable input from parents who had lived the NICU experience. The inclusion of family members in the development of clinical policy was a novel experience for NICU staff, which we feel ultimately resulted in a more ethically sound approach to the care of these infants and their families. In this article, we explore our experience of the process of policy change, which although detailed and transparent was also complex and challenging in development and implementation.
- Accepted August 26, 2014.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics