Human milk banks during covid-19 pandemic
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Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences and Public Health, University of Padua Italy
Azienda ULSS 6 Euganea Hospital Direction, Hospital of Cittadella, ULSS 6 Euganea, Padua, Italy Via Casa di Ricovero 40, Cittadella (Padua) Italy
Azienda ULSS 6 Euganea
Region of Veneto Integrated Care Pathways, Veneto Region, Italy Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1212
Background and objective:
The promotion of breastfeeding, recommended by Unicef and WHO, is an important health goal for Public Health. Human breast milk provides optimal nutrition for preterm infants and prevents various diseases. In Italy, the 41 donated human milk banks ( Banche del Latte Umano Donato-BLUD) offer a service that aims to select, collect, store and distribute donated human milk, to be used for specific medical needs in the event of prematurity or critical issues. In this project we report data regarding the donation of human milk and the implications and limitations related to the Covid-19 epidemic in the Province of Padua.

Veneto Regional Council established the Regional Network of 5 BLUDs currently active in the Neonatologies of Padua, Treviso, Verona, Vicenza and Cittadella involving all birth points of the Region according to the Hub and Spoke model. In all birth points the donors are selected according to specific certified protocols in which women’s clinical history (including COVID19), infectious disease tests and thorough analysis of the milk are taken into consideration in compliance with the Ministerial Guidelines.

The Italian BLUDs have provided, even during the pandemic, an efficient and safe service guaranteeing the usefulness and quality of the service. In the past year, in Cittadella (nearly 1000 births per year) 66 mothers have donated their milk, providing a total of 110 liters of milk for 500 in term newborns and 36 premature infants.

This project highlights the capacity of human milk banks to surmount the difficulties given by Covid-19 pandemic. It also states the importance of specific protocols issued by the Italian National Health System and the Italian Association of Donated Human Milk Banks that continue to monitor the appropriateness and management of BLUDs in Neonatal Intensive Care and Neonatology promoting the donation culture.

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