Aim In 2014, NICE guidance outlined the recommended amount of vitamin D in newborn infants.1 Such deficiency is associated with rickets, hypocalcaemia and seizures.2
The aim of this study was to determine whether babies on the neonatal unit received the recommended daily amount of vitamin D by comparing national guidance against our local neonatal policy. To assess how babies obtained their source of vitamin D on the neonatal unit.
Method Local policy stipulates for pre-term babies<1.8 kg a daily intake of 800–1000 units is recommended and for term babies (>37 weeks) 400 units is recommend. Pre-term and term babies>1.8 kg a dose of 400 units is recommend.
Data collected over a 6 week period (1 week pilot study) included prescribed medication, milk volume, milk type (formula or fortifier) and demographics of the patient population. Inclusion criteria: babies with a postnatal age >2 weeks and enteral feeds >120 ml/kg/day. Exclusion criteria: babies with a postnatal age <2 weeks, on TPN, donor breast milk or on demand breast-feeding.
Results 30 babies identified of, which 21 were classified as pre term and 9 as term. 100% (9/9) of term babies and (3/3) pre-term babies weighing >1.8 kg received the recommended daily vitamin D intake (either as colecalciferol or abidec). The remaining 18 pre-term babies weighing <1.8 kg; 83% (15/18) received the recommended daily intake (either as colecalciferol, abidec, fortifier or milk formula). Overall, from the 30 babies identified in this study 90% (27/30) received their daily recommended intake of vitamin D.
Conclusion This is the first study conducted, which concluded that 90% of babies received the recommend daily intake of vitamin D as outlined in both national and local guidance. It demonstrated that there needs to be a greater focus on vitamin D supplementation on the unit to ensure that all babies are nutritionally optimised.
NICE Guidelines [PH56]. Vitamin D: Increasing supplement in at-risk groups November 2014.
Parisaei M, GovindA, Clements J, etal. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in a North London antenatal population. Obstetric Medicine: The Medicine of Pregnancy 2011;4(3):113–116.
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