NPEC Vermont Oxford Network

The Vermont Oxford Network (VON) is a non-profit international voluntary collaboration of health care professionals dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants and their families. Data is collected on the care and outcomes of very low birth weight infants (VLBW): those born ≤1500g and/or ≤29 weeks.

The VON Network is today comprised of over 900 Neonatal Intensive Care Units around the world. The database provides unique, reliable and confidential data to participating units for use in quality management, process improvement, internal audit and peer review. NPEC facilitates membership of the VON on behalf of all 19 neonatal units in Ireland, making it possible to have composite national data on all very low birthweight (VLBW) infants born in Ireland.

Key messages from Mortality Risk Amongst Very Low Birth Weight Infants in the Republic of Ireland Report 2014-2016:

  • Over the three-year period, 298 (one in six) VLBW infants born in Ireland died before they were discharged from hospital or before they reached their first birthday. This represented a 17% higher risk of death than expected.
  • Babies born at 22-23 weeks had a 23% higher risk of death than expected.
  • Babies born at 24-27 weeks in a tertiary unit did not experience higher than expected mortality. However, those who were born in a non-tertiary unit had a 70% higher mortality risk than expected.
  • Babies with a gestational age of at least 28 weeks did not have a higher mortality risk than expected.

For further information on this audit, visit the NPEC website HERE or contact NPEC@UCC.IE