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Nominal deviation in neonatal intensive care units: a time trend analysis
  1. Kelly Brown1,
  2. Nick Brown2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kelly Brown, Department of Paediatrics, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB, UK; kelly.brown{at}

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Anecdotal reports in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) suggest changes in naming patterns towards the more esoteric. This overdue time trend analysis looks at admission names from 3 years in a busy Southern England tertiary NICU. There is evidence of potential harm (educational and societal) related to unusual names.


To test the hypothesis that NICU babies' naming practices have veered from the norm in 25 years.


Children's names were divided into quintiles ranked by popularity: names 1st–5th most popular (A), 6th–10th (B), 11th–20th (C), 20th–40th (D) and 41st onwards (E). Using the ONS registry of UK births1 we derived expected frequencies for each quintile. Names were extracted from ward admission books for 3 months …

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  • Competing interests One of the authors (KB) temporarily chose to re-spell her name in the cause of individuality, after the 1970s TV show ‘Charlie’s Angels' resulted in near epidemic numbers of Kellys.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.