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Adverse events and other incidents in neonatal intensive care units

The occurrence of avoidable adverse events (AEs) represents a problem of quality of care that is responsible for the increase in monetary and social costs, causing suffering to the patient, their family members and the professional involved. This situation is aggravated when it involves newborns (NBs) with very low birth weights and shorter gestational ages, admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The scope of this study is to understand more about these incidents and adverse events in NICUs. The article aims to identify the occurrence of incidents, with and without injury that have occurred in NICUs in the literature and correlate this with the gestational age group of the NBs most affected. This is a systematic review of the available literature on incidents, particularly AEs as witnessed in NICUs. This study reveals that the types of incidents that occur in NICUs, with or without injury to the patient, are related to errors or failures in medication use, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), skin injuries, mechanical ventilation and intravascular catheters. The cause of incidents and adverse events in NICUs are associated with human factors and the outcomes that are most damaging are due to HAIs. Furthermore, the study points out ways to mitigate these occurrences.

Incidents; Adverse events; Neonatal intensive care unit


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