Over recent years most of the Swiss pediatric centers have established individual, extensive follow-up programs to routinely assess the health and neurodevelopmental status of prematurely born neonates. Others are in the process of developing such a program. Highly dedicated health care officials perform this social medical service. But even though the children clearly benefit from routine checks and highly expensive measures can oftentimes be circumvented due to early diagnosis and subsequent measures, financing is difficult. The lack of finances and the need to retain the individual nature of the established programs need to be considered in the formation of a nationwide network.
The Swiss Neonatal Network therefore intends to foster and coordinate the individual efforts in order to set up a nationwide network of centers capable of tracking infants for long-term follow-up. Our aim is to standardize the measures of health and developmental status used by different Swiss pediatric centers in order to build a reliable and accurate database that permits comparisons between the centers and with databases of other nations. A standardized protocol would also facilitate the communication between the individual centers and allow closer collaboration.
The Network however intends to limit its data collection to the assessments performed between 18 and 24 months adjusted age (FU-24) and at pre-school age and does not wish to interfere with the other established protocols of the individual pediatric centers.
Another aim is to assess the impact of interventions performed in the delivery room or during the initial hospitalization on the health and developmental status of preterm children in Switzerland.
Minimal follow-up protocol
The following nationwide standardized protocol is currently being introduced.
|2 years corrected age||5-6 years corrected age|
|Bayley II PDI, MDI (Bayley III for children born as of 2012), neurological exam, CP, gross motor function, visual exam (incl. Lang test), hearing exam||K-ABC II, neurological exam, CP, Zürcher Neuromotorik, visual exam, hearing exam|
Due to limited resources, 2 year follow-up data will be collected for children born with a gestational age below 32 weeks on a six-year basis starting with children born in 2000, and 5-6 years follow-up data for children born with a gestational age below 30 weeks respectively. In the remaining years, starting with infants born in 2001, data will be collected for infants born with a gestational age below 28 weeks.