Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a major complication confronting clinicians caring for premature infants. This investigation compares clinical outcomes before and after quality improvement-program interventions in a population of premature infants at intermediate risk for NEC.
This study is a retrospective single-center chart review of infants admitted with a birth weight of 1000-1499 g, excluding major congenital anomalies, over a 6-year period, beginning with implementation of a donor breast-milk program when mother's own milk was not available. Infants were separated into 2 epochs, before (July 2012-December 2013) and after (April 2014-June 2018) introduction of human milk-derived fortifier (Prolacta) and a daily probiotic (FloraBABY) supplement.
Comparing 140 preintervention infants with 265 postintervention infants, NEC was significantly lower in the postintervention group: 5.2% vs 1.1% (P = 0.046). Somatic growth was similar in both epochs.
Quality-improvement initiatives utilizing an exclusive human-milk diet and daily probiotic supplementation were associated with a decreased incidence of NEC in infants with a birth weight of 1000-1499 g. Implementation of the NEC reduction bundle did not affect infant growth.