Background and aims Due to severe postnatal complications, the morbidity and mortality rate of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) premature infants remains significantly high. We aimed to assess the morbidity and mortality rates as well as the demographic characteristics of ELBW infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Methods ELBW infants admitted to the NICU between March 2010 and 2013 were included in the current study. Demographic characteristics, the type of surfactant and the need for a repeat dose, the need for mechanical ventilation and etiologic factors associated with morbidity and mortality were retrospectively assessed.
Results A total of 134 infants were enrolled in the study. Mean birth weight was 836 ± 155 g and mean gestational week was 26.4 ± 1.7 weeks. While all the infants received surfactants, 41.8% were treated with beractant, and 58.2% with proctant alfa. Overall mortality rate was 59.7%. The need for repeated doses of surfactant was more and the mortality rate was higher in infants who received beractant as opposed to those who received proctant alfa (p 0.024; 0.032, respectively). Infants who were referred from other centres had higher mortality and intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) rates (p 0.011; 0.016, respectively).
Conclusions We found that sepsis and ICH were the leading causes of mortality in ELBW infants. We also found that the type of surfactant administered to ELBW infants could influence the rate of mortality. Finally, the transport of ELBW infants from one centre to another may increase the rate of IVH and mortality and hence necessitates extreme caution.