The extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) of very preterm infants has been associated with long-term complications and neurodevelopmental problems. EUGR has been reported at higher rates in low resource settings. There is limited research investigating how metropolitan human milk banks contribute to the growth outcomes of very preterm infants cared in rural areas. The setting of this study is located at a rural county in Taiwan and affiliated with the Taiwan Southern Human Milk Bank. Donor human milk was provided through a novel supplemental system. A renewal nutritional protocol was initiated as a quality improvement project after the affiliated program. This study aimed to compare the clinical morbidities and growth outcome at term equivalent age (TEA) of preterm infants less than 33 weeks of gestational age before (Epoch-I, July 2015–June 2018, n = 40) and after the new implementation (Epoch-II, July 2018–December 2020, n = 42). The Epoch-II group significantly increased in bodyweight z-score at TEA ((−0.02 ± 1.00) versus Epoch-I group (−0.84 ± 1.08), p = 0.002). In multivariate regression models, the statistical difference between two epochs in bodyweight z-score changes from birth to TEA was still noted. Modern human milk banks may facilitate the nutritional protocol renewal in rural areas and improve the growth outcomes of very preterm infants cared for. Establishing more distribution sites of milk banks should be encouraged.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health