Trends in Neonatal Mortality at a Tertiary Level Teaching Hospital
Introduction: Neonatal services at Tribhuvan University Teaching hospital (TUTH) was essentially up to level II till year 2008 and upgraded to level III care in later years. A 4 years retrospective study was carried out at TUTH, Kathmandu, Nepal to determine any change in the trend of neonatal mortality after the improvement in its services.
Materials and Methods: Labor room record book, neonatal record book, perinatal audit data and neonatal record charts were used to collect the data.
Results: During the study period, there were total of 15063 live births. The neonatal mortality ranges from 9.46 to 14.88 per 1000 live births per year. There was no significant fall in trend of neonatal mortality (x2 for linear trend=1.40, p=0.23). There was also no significant fall in trend in perinatal mortality rates over this period (x2 for linear trend=1.92, p=0.16).The number of neonates referred to other hospitals has been significantly reduced by 61%.(x2 for linear trend=33.18, p<0.001). Majority of the neonatal deaths (72%) occurred within first 7 days of life and more than a third (39%) died within the first 24 hours of life. Respiratory distress syndrome, perinatal asphyxia and neonatal sepsis were three major causes of death. Deaths due to respiratory distress and perinatal asphyxia has not changed significantly over the years (p=0.4 and 0.25 respectively). Incidence of low birth weight ranges from 10.8 – 16.1% of total live births. 63% of neonatal mortality occurred in low birth weight babies. This trend has not changed in over the years (x2=1.03, p=0.31).
Conclusion: With the improvement in the services, though neonatal mortality remained unchanged, referral rates and mortality due to respiratory distress syndrome of prematurity has decreased.
J. Nepal Paediatr. Soc. 2013;33(3):213-217
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