Objective The audit aimed to investigate the proportion of preterm babies in the neonatal unit who received their immunisation at 2, 3 and 4 months of age while still in-patients as recommended by the Department of Health.1
Methods 25 neonates between November 2008 and January 2009 were included in the audit. A data collection form was produced which included: name, DOB, hospital number, if immunisation was given, dates of administration and in case the immunisation was omitted the main reason for that. All the neonates that were in-patient at the time of immunisation were included in the audit with the exception of those who had infection, immunodeficiency or were on steroids at the time of immunisation.
Results 25 babies were initially selected for the audit but only 13 met the inclusion criteria. From these 13, five babies received the immunisation as scheduled (±0–5 days) the other eight received the immunisation later, between 12 and 81 days. The eight babies that received the immunisation later, three babies were treated with steroids in a later stage but not at the time that immunisation was due, three babies were suspected of necrotizing enterocolitis and two babies were on continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP).
Conclusion Only 38% of the neonates admitted to the neonatal unit were given immunisation at the time recommended by the department of Health.1 In general babies with clinical complications were not immunised until their clinical condition improved. There was a delayed immunisation of babies on CPAP until they were off the ventilator. The authors acknowledge that this audit only included a small number of babies for a short period of time; however, as a result of this audit the neonatal physicians in our hospital are aware of the small proportion of babies vaccinated in the correct time window. The authors are editing an EXCEL database to remind the doctors when immunisation is required for every patient. A re-audit will be done in the future including more babies over a longer period to investigate if these measures have been successfully implemented.
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