Background and objectives: Preterm birth is a major cause of death and a significant cause of longterm morbidity around the world. Complications of preterm birth are the single largest direct cause of
neonatal deaths, responsible for 35% of the world?s 3.1 million deaths a year, and the second most
common cause of under -5 deaths after pneumonia. India ranks first among the 10 countries which
accounts for 60% of the worlds preterm births. There is a relative dearth of studies on short term
outcomes of the preterm infants in Indian literature. The aim of this study is to find the outcome of
preterms in terms of morbidity & mortality.
Materials and methods: This was a prospective descriptive study done in a tertiary hospital in south
Karnataka. A sample size of minimum of 150 preterm babies (<37 completed weeks) was selected
using purposive sampling technique. Multiple gestation and babies with major as well as life
threatening congenital anomalies were excluded. Preterm care was given as per standard NICU
protocol of the hospital. The neonates was assessed daily for signs and symptoms of complications of
prematurity. The day of onset of symptoms, duration, appropriate therapeutic intervention done &
time for resolution of symptoms or poor neonatal outcome (including death) was recorded upto
discharge or till 1 month of admission, whichever is earlier.
Results: Most of the babies were late preterm, while 13.3% and 16.7% were moderate to very preterm
respectively. About 8.7% babies required resuscitation at birth with 2% requiring intubation.
Neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia was seen in 66.7% babies. Hypoglycemia was seen in 3.3% babies.
Respiratory distress was seen in 17.3% babies. Probable sepsis was seen in 8% babies while culture
proven sepsis was seen in 1.3% babies. Mortality was 8%.
Conclusion: This study shows morbidities more in terms of metabolic issues namely hypoglycemia and
hyperbilirubinemia. Sepsis, RDS, NEC was comparatively low. Mortality was in line with the global
statistics. But we still intend to institute adequate antenatal and postnatal care to improve the quality
of outcome of premature babies.
Avinash Singraiah, Irshad Abdul Majeed