First year mortality and hospital morbidity after newborn intensive care

J E Harding, R N Howie
New Zealand Medical Journal 1987 September 9, 100 (831): 548-52
First year mortality and hospital morbidity were studied in 4678 surviving infants liveborn at National Women's Hospital during 1980, of whom 1113 had been admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Of children born there, but never admitted to the neonatal unit, 8.3% were hospitalised in their first year for a mean of 6.7 days per admission or 0.8 days per child. Hospitalisation rates were increased in neonatal unit survivors, ranging from 11.6% in normal birthweight to 15.5% in very low birthweight survivors. The hospital admissions were, on average, longer: 11 days per admission or 2.1 days per infant of low birthweight (LBW, under 2500g), and 21 days per admission or 4.8 days per infant of very low birthweight (VLBW, under 1500g). The longer averages reflected long hospital stays by only a few children. Admissions were largely for respiratory infections: no VLBW survivor was admitted for developmental delay, failure to thrive or non-accidental injury. Neonatal unit survivors had no increase in first year mortality compared with other Auckland children, and none died a cot death. Deaths in normal birthweight survivors were due to congenital abnormalities. No VLBW survivor died after discharge from National Women's Hospital. Children surviving neonatal unit care in Auckland in 1980 appeared to have less continuing first year morbidity and mortality than has been reported elsewhere.

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