A retrospective study on neonatal mortality over 6 years in a rural teaching hospital
Keywords:Neonatal death, Neonatal mortality rate, Prematurity, Respiratory distress syndrome
Background: India has a high neonatal mortality rate (NMR) of 31/1000 live births that of rural being 34 while urban is 17. Approximately two-thirds of the newborn deaths usually occur in the 1st week of life. Objective: This study was conducted to identify primary causes of neonatal deaths and to analyze the trend over 6 years. Methods: This was a record-based observational study of all the neonatal deaths born in a tertiary hospital of West India over 6 years (January 2012–December 2017). All the admitted babies to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) were included in the study. Details of each neonatal death were analyzed. Results: Out of the total 6561 births, there were 146 neonatal deaths during the study period. The maximum NMR was 36.2/1000 live births in the year 2012. There was decreasing trend of death rate over 5 years with marginal increase in the year 2017 (16.6/1000 live births), attributed to congenital malformations and perinatal asphyxia. Among them, 87% were low birth weight, 61% were male, and 71.9% were preterm. The causes of neonatal death were septicemia, extreme prematurity, respiratory distress syndrome, birth asphyxia, meconium aspiration, and congenital anomalies. Conclusions: In the present study, NMR showed decreasing trend over 6 years. Prevention of premature delivery, proper management of very low birth weight babies, and early detection and appropriate management of septicemia/perinatal hypoxia have become important interventional strategies in reducing neonatal deaths.
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