Survival rate and length of stay of preterm babies less than 1500 grams in a neonatal unit in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Boma A. West


Background: The survival rate and length of stay of preterm babies which is usually of concern to both parents and clinicians is critical in counselling parents at the time of admission and also assesses the efficiency of the neonatal unit thus necessitating the present study.

Methods: A prospective study carried out over 30 months in the neonatal unit of Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

Results: Of 115 preterm babies <1500 gm studied, commonest gestational age and birth weight were 30 weeks 25 (21.7%) and 1000-1199 gm, 35 (30.4%) respectively. There were 100% survival rates for preterms delivered at 31 weeks, 33 weeks, 34 weeks and 36 weeks gestation; 0% survival at 25 weeks and 25% at 24 weeks and 26 weeks gestation. Survival rate was highest among birth weight 1400-1499 gm (89.2%) and lowest with birth weight <1000 gm (30.4%). Length of stay was longest with gestational age of 24 weeks (62.00±0.00 days) and birth weight <1000 gm (57.71±9.96 days) and shortest for gestational age of 35 weeks (20.00±0.00 days) and birth weights 1400-1499 gm (31.92±12.12 days). Survival status was significantly associated with gestational age and birth weight, p value <0.0001. Preterms with early onset sepsis and severe anaemia were significantly associated with length of stay, p value <0.05.

Conclusions: The survival rate of preterms <1500 gm increase with increasing gestational age and birth weights while the length of stay increase with decreasing gestational age and birth weight. These findings will therefore form part of the counselling given to parents/caregivers during admission of their preterm babies.


Length of stay, Preterms, Survival rates

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