Feeding Practices and Patent Ductus Arteriosus Ligation Preferences—Are They Related?
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We hypothesized that there is a significant relationship between a neonatologist's belief that feedings must be stopped in the presence of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and his or her willingness to ligate a PDA. We administered the same survey questionnaire to two separate populations of neonatologists to assess their beliefs regarding PDA treatment practices. Although >90% of U.S. and non-U.S. neonatologists reported that they would ligate a PDA when infants with birth weights <900 g required mechanical ventilation (and indomethacin was contraindicated or had failed to close the PDA), U.S. neonatologists reported that they were significantly more likely to ligate a PDA when less respiratory support was required. U.S. neonatologists were also more likely to stop feedings when a PDA was present. The reported likelihood that a neonatologist would ligate a PDA in infants who did not require mechanical ventilation was significantly increased if the neonatologist believed that feedings had to be stopped because of the PDA. After controlling for the belief that "feedings must be stopped in the presence of a PDA," the significant difference between U.S. and non-U.S. neonatologists, in their reported desire to ligate infants who did not require mechanical ventilation, was no longer present.
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