Infection is a leading cause of death worldwide in babies under one month of age who are more susceptible to sepsis due to immature host defence mechanisms. Usually, babies may become acutely unwell from infective pathogens due to specific differences in their respiratory and immune systems. However, with the Covid-19 virus, the focus of this paper, it appears that the neonatal population is not significantly affected in the same way as adults. That said, knowledge about this novel virus is rapidly emerging. Therefore, it is vital that neonatal nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals are adequately informed and educated about the potential impact on neonatal practice. This review paper draws upon key findings and themes from a selection of recent literature to provide an overview of current knowledge on Covid-19 and the implications for care within the neonatal field. The discussion focuses on the nature of Covid-19, its pathophysiology and transmission relevant to maternal and neonatal care. This is followed by implications for practice; namely, maternal issues, the importance of human breast milk, neonatal care relating to parenting and specific management before a final review of the current World Health Organization guidance.
- Care implications