Updated: Jan 3

What an absolute thrill to be writing for our blog on our new website… at last! It will be an opportunity to regularly share and reflect on all things neonatal going forward, and with a global perspective. 2020, The Year of the Nurse and Midwife, has seen so many changes in delivery of service, as we grapple with the ongoing management of the COVID19 pandemic; not least the sad loss of so many front-line workers, whose sacrifice has marked the year in ways we never imagined. This image is just one of many capturing the impact Covid19 on nurses, but one I will always remember from August, created from pixel images of those clinicians who lost their lives to the virus.

With increasing alarm and anxiety, extreme management of patients, particularly infants and families were hastily rolled out with the intention of minimising risk of transmission; but were paradoxically detrimental to the well-being of both mother and infant, especially in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU )and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) setting. It led to sharing of these experiences on our very successful first webinars, discussing the impact of COVID-19 on Neonatal care and the overwhelming rationale for keeping mothers and babies together. Further experiences and opinions have been shared in the UKJNN (and on the former COINN website) COINN News Pages: Journal of Neonatal Nursing ( Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN) News page - ScienceDirect

As this Pandemic continues to impact, so the experiences will be shared here and as contributions to the UKJNN COINN page

The reflective writing project that COINN members have contributed towards, has inspired the webinar entitled Reflective Accounts – Impact of COVID scheduled to be included in the NNA Annual Online Conference being held on 4th March 2021.The session is due to take place from 13:50 – 14:40 UK GMT time.

Whilst the Pandemic has coloured the year and dominated the thoughts and our daily lives, our commitment to ongoing projects continues in collaboration with other global partners. Currently uppermost we are working with the World Health Organisation in developing modules for Care of the Sick and Newborn infant in Lo- income countries.

We are also working towards a COINN book, a compendium of neonatal care and experiential practice with a distinctly global perspective. Thwarted by the outbreak of the pandemic, we are in a revised timeline for publication and the new deadline looms for publishers, so we all have a focus for the New Year.

It is time to take the positives from 2020 forward, for there have been many, but none more so than the impact of digital technology. We have taken to the sharing of research and information in webinars, whilst zooming has become standard for online meetings, as has the massive adoption of telehealth. Parties who were reluctant to adopt the technology, have been won over in a conversion not seen Since biblical times with the apostle Pauls conversion on the road to Damascus, an analogy only used here for a dramatic perspective. I had first-hand experience of the phenomenal difference tele health has made, whilst looking after a particularly sick infant over Christmas, an ex33/40 and only just 39/40, she had RSV and likely pneumonia. Despite Humidified High Flow (HHF), she remained tachycardic, heart rate at 190-200 at rest and up to 230+ when disturbed. A transfer to a tertiary centre was sought and the team at the receiving hospital were able to make an assessment using real time telehealth. Amazing to watch the video camera being turned by the tertiary consultant, to have an open discussion with all those involved and for the mother to participate, too.

It will be interesting to hear what positives you can share from 2020, till next time, stay safe, wishing you all A Very Happy and Healthy New Year

Judy Hitchcock, RN

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