Document Detail

Survival in very low birthweight infants at the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1637736     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Between January 1984 and December 1987, 1509 singleton neonates were admitted into Special Care Baby Unit at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital; 29(1.9%) of these were Extreme Low Birthweight (ELBW), 86(5.7%) were Very Low Birthweight (VLBW), 406(26.9%) were Low Birthweight (LBW) and 988 (65.5%) were Normal Birthweight (NBW) infants. Survival rates in the four categories were 10.3%, 46.5%, 89.2% and 94.7% respectively. Factors which significantly influenced survival in the VLBW infants included higher mean birthweight (p less than 0.01) longer mean gestation (p less than 0.001) and lower incidence of birth asphyxia (p less than 0.02 with Yates's correction). Furthermore the survivors were significantly more mature for their gestation than those who died (p = 0.008, Fisher's Exact test). Care of the VLBW infant is not beyond the capabilities of Special Care Baby units in developing countries. In the light of our report, survival of Low Birthweight infants is a strong reflection of that of VLBW infants and survival of this category of babies could be improved by instituting general measures such as those aimed at reducing the incidence of LBW in the environment and by specific measures like carrying out prompt and effective resuscitation of the asphyxiated neonate and preventing sepsis.
A total of 1509 singleton neonates (849 males and 660 females) were admitted into the Special Care Baby Unit at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in Nigeria between January 1984 and December 1987. Of these, 29 (1.9%) were extreme low birth weight (ELBW); 86 (5.7%) were very low birth weight (VLBW), 40 of whom survived; 406 (26.9%) were low birth weight (LBW); and 988 (65.5%) were normal birth weight (NBW) babies. Survival rates in the 4 groups were 10.3%, 46.5%, 89.2%, and 94.7%, respectively. Higher mean birth weight (p .01), longer mean gestation (p .001), and lower incidence of birth asphyxia (p .02 with Yates's correction) significantly more mature for their gestational age (p = .008, Fisher's exact probability test) than those who died. Among infants who survived, one each had idiopathic respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and septicemia. Among the infants who died there were 2 cases of RDS and 1 each of aspiration pneumonia and septicemia. Survival of babies with birth weights under 1000 gm improved very little over the 4-year period, while the survival rates stayed constant at 90% in babies with birth weights of 1500 gm and above. The overall survival rate in the Unit improved from 86.1% in 1984 to 91.4% in 1987. There were relatively fewer cases of birth asphyxia in the VLBW category than in the rest of the babies resulting in better survival. The survival of LBW infants was distinctly reflected by that of VLBW infants whose survival could be improved by instituting measures such as prompt resuscitation of the asphyxiated neonate and prevention of sepsis.
G O Okoji; R S Oruamabo
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  West African journal of medicine     Volume:  11     ISSN:  0189-160X     ISO Abbreviation:  West Afr J Med     Publication Date:    1992 Jan-Mar
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-09-02     Completed Date:  1992-09-02     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8301891     Medline TA:  West Afr J Med     Country:  NIGERIA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-6     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
Department of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.
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MeSH Terms
Asphyxia Neonatorum / epidemiology,  mortality
Birth Weight
Gestational Age
Hospitals, University
Infant Mortality*
Infant, Low Birth Weight*
Infant, Newborn
Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration,  standards
Nigeria / epidemiology
Risk Factors
Survival Rate

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