The Ibero-American Neonatology Society (SIBEN), in accordance with its mission of education and outcome improvement in the region, started efforts to develop strong neonatal collaboration. We chose patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a frequent complex issue in premies with no clearly defined management, as the theme for our first consensus.
Methods In March 2007, Drs Clyman, van Overmeire and 45 neonatologists (23 countries) were invited for active participation and collaboration. We developed 46 questions of clinical/physiological relevance in all aspects of PDA. Guidelines for consensus process, literature search and future preparation of educational material/authorship were developed, reviewed and agreed by all. Participants from different countries were distributed in 11 groups, assigning them to interact and work together for 4 months to answer 3–5 questions, reviewing all global literature and local factors; answers/summaries were received, collated and reviewed. In October 2007 participants and experts met in Spain (lectures by experts, presentations by groups, discussion, all literature available).
Results 30 neonatologists (17 countries) participated. Presentations by each group and general discussion were used to develop a consensus regarding: general management, availability of drugs (INDO vs IBU), costs, indications for echo/surgery, etc. Many steps were learnt by all present in a collaborative forum. The final consensus summary will be published, posted on the web and circulated through thousands of units in Ibero-America.
Conclusions The First SIBEN Consensus Group led active and collaborative participation of neonatologists of 17 countries of the region, improved education of all participants and ended with consensus development on clinical approaches to PDA. Furthermore, it will serve as a useful foundation for future SIBEN consensus on other topics and it could become a valuable model to decrease disparity in care and improve outcomes in this and other regions.