Morbidity and mortality pattern of very low birth weight and extremely low birth weight neonates in a tertiary care hospital

Wani Shahid Hussain, Muzafar Jan, Rahat Abbas, Zarkah Nabi


Background: Although the mortality and morbidity rates for Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) and Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) neonates have improved over last few decades, they still remain highly vulnerable groups. This study determines the neonatal morbidity and mortality within first four weeks of life in VLBW and ELBW neonates.

Methods: It was a hospital based prospective study conducted in the department of paediatrics at GB Pant hospital, an associated hospital of Government Medical College Srinagar. All included neonates were evaluated in neonatology section and were followed up to 4 weeks of life. Standard protocols were used for management of these neonates.

Results: A total of 116 neonates were included in the study. Among the 116 neonates 82 (70.69%) were VLBW and 34 (29.31%) were ELBW. 28 (34.14%) VLBW and 18 (52.94%) ELBW neonates died. Among the morbidities Respiratory Distress Syndrome was found in 35.37% of VLBW and 70.59% of ELBW neonates, out of which 12.20% VLBW and 20.58% ELBW neonates developed Bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Perinatal asphyxia was found in 20.73% of VLBW and 29.41% of ELBW neonates and Pathological apnea occurred in 28.04% VLBW and 85.29% ELBW neonates. 40.24% VLBW and 73.53% ELBW neonates developed clinically significant jaundice requiring treatment. Clinical sepsis was found in 43.90% VLBW and 67.65% ELBW neonates while as culture proven sepsis was found in 26.83% VLBW and 41.18% ELBW neonates. Intra ventricular haemorrhage was found in 15.85% VLBW and 52.94% ELBW neonates. Necrotizing enterocolitis developed in 18.29% VLBW and 35.29% ELBW neonates. Retinopathy of prematurity was found in 21.95% VLBW and 26.47% ELBW neonates. Patent ductus arteriosus was found in 14.63% VLBW and 32.35% ELBW neonates.

Conclusions: Present study has shown Respiratory distress syndrome, perinatal asphyxia and sepsis as the predominant causes of neonatal morbidity and mortality and these are preventable with a proper health care system and policy directed to the primary prevention.


Extremely low birth weight, Perinatal asphyxia, Respiratory distress syndrome, Very low birth weight

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