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Outcome for newborn babies declined admission to a regional neonatal intensive care unit.
  1. D G Sims,
  2. J Wynn,
  3. M L Chiswick


    Between July 1979 and June 1980 the regional neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, received 170 requests from maternity units for the transfer of ill newborn babies. Most of the babies were suffering from respiratory failure. The initial request was declined in 65 babies because of overcrowding or lack of facilities at the NICU (n = 59), or because transfer was not justified on medical grounds (n = 6). Forty-two of the 65 babies were compelled to remain in the maternity unit because they could not be accommodated at hospitals with facilities for ventilating newborn babies. The neonatal survival rate of babies with respiratory failure who were transferred to the NICU was 66% whereas the survival rate of similar babies who were declined transfer was 30%. Our findings support the efficacy of intensive care for ill babies with respiratory failure and suggest that such facilities need to be more widely developed.

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