Background Late preterm infants are physiologically and metabolically immature than term infants, and the incidence of late preterm birth is increasing. These infants have higher risks of medical complications such as respiratory distress, hypoglycemia, hyperbilirubinemia, sepsis, feeding difficulty and poor neurodevelopmental outcome than term infants.
Objective We aimed to evaluate the clinical and demographic characteristics, and short-term outcomes and clinical course of late preterm infants who were admitted to our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Materials and method Data from NICU admissions of 605 late preterm and 1477 term infants in 1 year period between June 2010 and May 2011 were analyzed.
Results Late preterm and total delivery numbers were 2004 and 18854. NICU admission rate of late preterm infants was 30%, respectively. Mean gestational week and birth weight were 351/7 w and 2352 g. Admission diagnosis were respiratory distress (46.5%), low birth weight (17.5%), jaundice (13.7%), polycythemia (8.1%), hypoglycemia(4%) and feeding difficulty (13.1%), and these morbidities’ rates were higher than term infants (p<0.001). During hospital stay; jaundice, polycthemia, hypoglycemia, feeding difficulty, sepsis, apnea and pneumonia rates were 300 (49.6%), 98 (16.2%), 88 (14.5%), 218 (36%), 85 (14%), 7 (1.2%) and 27 (4.5%), respectively. Overall mean hospitalization length was 7.5±9.1 days. Mortality and rehospitalization rate was 2.1% and 4.4%, and higher than term infants (< 0.001).
Conclusion We concluded that late preterm infants should be followed closely for these complications just after birth and preventive strategies should be put in practice.
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