OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine if outcomes at our neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) since we began using calcium chloride (CaCl2) as our preferred calcium additive in order to reduce aluminum (Al) exposure are within expected outcome ranges for NICUs in the U.S. where calcium gluconate in glass vials (CaGlu-Gl) has been the preferred additive.
STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective study of very low birth weight infants born between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2014. Outcomes in two intensive care units (NICUs) using CaCl2 were compared to all U.S. NICUs in the Vermont Oxford Network. Primary outcomes were chronic lung disease (CLD), percent requiring supplemental oxygen at 28 days, and mortality excluding early deaths (MEED). The incidence of IV infiltrates of all admissions to the study NICUs in 2013-2014 was compared to the literature.
RESULTS: The incidence of CLD and those requiring oxygen at 28 days were 24.0% vs 28.6% and 46.2% vs 51.8% for the study NICUs compared to all U.S. NICUs, respectively (both p < 0.0001). The MEED was 8.7% vs 10.3% (p < 0.002). All major morbidities were lower at the study NICUs. The incidence of infiltrates was lower than that in the literature.
CONCLUSION: The use of CaCl2 was not associated with any detectable adverse effects. Calcium chloride appears to be a safe alternative to the use of CaGlu-Gl based upon studies of clinical outcomes.
Calcium chloride in neonatal parenteral nutrition: A 15 year experience