Evaluation of Neonatal-Intensive-Care Programs
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Within the past 15 years, regional neonatal-intensive-care programs have been introduced and have expanded rapidly. The efficacy of some of the individual interventions that constitute neonatal intensive care has been validated in randomized, controlled clinical trials. It is therefore generally assumed that neonatal-intensive-care programs that incorporate these maneuvers are effective in reducing death and disability. However, the overall effectiveness of these programs has not been tested experimentally. Moreover, much of the non-experimental evidence supporting their value is based on the experience of referral units and does not measure the impact on the populations they serve. A definitive economic evaluation of neonatal intensive care has not yet been reported, despite the high cost of such programs. We conclude that neonatal-intensive care programs require further evaluation with rigorous scientific methods.
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