Morbidity and mortality profile of neonates in a tertiary care centre in Tamil Nadu: a study from South India

Ravikumar S. A., Harikrishnan Elangovan, Elayaraja K., Aravind Sunderavel K. K.


Background: Accurate data on morbidity and mortality pattern are useful for many reasons. The Perinatal and the neonatal period are so short but they are the most critical faces of human life1. It reflects the general health and the socio-biological features of the most vulnerable groups of the society, the mothers and the infants. The objectives of this study was to investigate the morbidity and mortality pattern of neonates admitted in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of tertiary care hospital.

Methods: All the neonates admitted to NICU from July 2013 to June 2015, excluding the neonates referred and discharged against medical advice were retrospectively analysed for demographic profile, short term morbidity and outcome.

Results: 3118 neonates were admitted in the study period. 57.5% were Males, 72.5% were inborn, 69% were term babies and 53.3% had normal birth weight. Important causes for morbidity were Perinatal asphyxia 490 (15.7%), Preterm/LBW 456 (14.6%), Neonatal jaundice 438 (14%) and then sepsis 402 (12.9%). The mortality rate was 10.4% with statistical significant difference between inborn and outborn babies (P<0.0001). The major causes of mortality are Respiratory syndrome 109 (33.6%), followed by birth asphyxia 82 (25.3%) and sepsis 82 (25.3%). The survival of term as well as normal birth weight babies was statistically significant over preterm (P<0.0001) and Low Birth Weight (LBW), Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW), Extreme Low Birth Weight (ELBW) neonates (P<0.0001> respectively.

Conclusions: Birth asphyxia, prematurity, Jaundice and neonatal sepsis respiratory problems were major causes of both mortality and morbidity. There is need to strengthen services to address these problems more effectively. 


Morbidity, Mortality, Newborn, Neonatal intensive care unit

Full Text:



Behl L, Grover N and Kaushik SL. Perinatal and neonatal mortality: A hospital based study. Indian Paediatr. 1998;35:683-4.

Kapoor RK, Srivatsava AK, Mishra PK, Sharma B, Thakur S, Srivatsava KL et al. Perinatal Mortality in Urban Slums in Lucknow. Indian Paediatr. 1996;33:19-23.

Zupan J, Aahaman E. Perinatal mortality for the Geneva: estimates developed by WHO. Geneva: World Health Organisation.

Bryce J, Bishi-pinto C, Shibuya K, Balck RE, WHO estimates the cause of death in children. Lancet. 2005;365:1147-52.

Registrar general and census commissioner India. Sample Registration System Bulletin 2016. Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, 2016

Lawn JE, Cousens S, Zupan J. 4 million neonatal deaths when? Where? Why? Lancet. 2005;365:1147-52.

Saharia N, Deka A, Vivekananda MS. Mortality and morbidity pattern of neonatal ICU of Guwhati Medical College and Hospital. IOSR-JDMS. 2016;15:73-5.

Sridhar PV, Thammanna PS, Sandeep M. Morbidity pattern and hospital outcome of neonates admitted in a tertiary care Teaching Hospital, Mandya. Int J Sci Stud. 2015;3(6):126-9.

Modi R, Modi B, Patel JK, Punitha KM. Study of the morbidity and the mortality pattern in the neonatal intensive care unit at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Gandhinagar District, Gujarat, India. J Res Med Den Sci. 2015;3(3):208-12.

Malik S, Gohiya P, Khan IA. Morbidity profile and mortality of neonates admitted in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of a Central India Teaching Institute: A prospective observational study. J Clin Neonatol. 2016;5:168-73.

Babu MC, Prakash PS, Prasanna CL. Neonatal morbidity and mortality patterns of babies admitted in SNCU @ ACSR Government Medical College, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. J Evol Med Dent Sci. 2018;7(02):203-6.

Kumar MK, Thakur S, Singh B. Study of the morbidity and the mortality patterns in the neonatal intensive care unit at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Rohtas District, Bihar, India. J Clin Diagnos Res. 2012;6(2):282-5.

Kotwal YS, Yatoo GH, Ahmed Jan FA. Morbidity and mortality among neonates admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit of a tertiary care teaching hospital of Jammu and Kashmir (India). Neonat Pediatr Med. 2011;3:136.

UNICEF. The state of the world’s children, 2010. New York: UNICEF 2010:92-5. Available at

Augustine T, Bhatia BD. Early neonatal morbidity and mortality patterns in hospitalized children. Indian J Mat Child Health. 1994 Jan-Mar;5(1):17-19.

Kumar M, Paul VK, Kapoor SK, Anad K, Deorari AK. The neonatal outcome at a subdistrict hospital in north India. J Tropic Paediatr. 2002;48:43-8.

Yasmin S, Osrin D, Paul E, Costello. Neonatal mortality of the low birth weight infants in Bangladesh. World Health Organization. 2001;79:608-14.