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Minerva Pediatrica 2006 February;58(1):91-100


language: Italian

Ivo Nasso: infectivologist and founder of the neonatal acute care

Farnetani I. 1, Farnetani F. 2

1 Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia Università degli Studi Bicocca, Milano 2 Corso di Laurea in Medicina e Chirurgia Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze


Ivo Nasso (1892-1976), graduated in medicine in 1919, dedicated his work to the study of infectious diseases and was responsible for promoting the study of medicine for preterms and small for age patients and neonatal intensive care in Italy. Nasso developed one of the first pilot centres for immature infants. In fact, in the 1950s in Milan the mortality rate for immature infants in their first year of life was approximately 50%, whereas in the United States the figure was around 20-25% and in France around 35%. The installation of an immature infants’ unit in Milan signaled a decrease in infant mortality down to 30%. The pilot centre for immature infants of the University of Milan was composed of 2 visiting rooms with wide glass doors, allowing the relatives to see the babies, an area for sterilisation, a lactarium and 4 hospitalisation rooms; one with incubators and one without, the room for babies in predischarging stages and one for isolated confinement. Thermostatic and thermo-electric cots were used. During the planning of the pilot centre Nasso arranged the isolated confinement area in such a way as to be able to identify the infections which he held to be of fundamental importance in the care of low weight babies. Particular importance was allotted to the predischarging area, which was comprised of a large area in the style of a veranda, enabling easier acclimatisation.

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