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A longitudinal study to assess the survival of low-birth-weight neonates born in a tertiary hospital, Ahmedabad

Biranchi Narayan Das, Neeta Mathur, Saba Syed.


Background: Birth weight is the most important predictor of the survival chances, growth, and development of a newborn child. It also predicts perinatal, neonatal, and infant mortality rates and child survival index.

Objective: To assess the survival of low-birth-weight (LBW) neonates born in a tertiary hospital, Ahmedabad.

Materials and Methods: Two hundred and two LBW babies (birth weight below 2,500 g) were selected by simple random method from all the babies born live in the hospital during the study period, and equal numbers of babies were also selected from normal birth-weight (NBW) babies for matching control. Babies with congenital anomalies were excluded. Both the cases and controls were followed up for 6 months in the hospital and in the community to assess their survival and, if died, then cause of death.

Result: During the follow up study, a total 40 babies died—38 babies from LBW category and only two babies from NBW. Of the 38 LBW babies, 28 babies died in the hospital. All the babies weighing < 1,500 g did not survive. The death rate decreased as the birth weight increased. The major causes of deaths are found to be birth asphyxia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and infections.

Conclusion: This study concluded that LBW babies are more prone to early neonatal deaths owing to complications in comparison with NBW babies. The main causes of deaths are birth asphyxia and infection. Intervention program is highly essential to prevent the LBW babies rather than the treatment of LBW babies born later.

Key words: Low birth weight (LBW), normal birth weight (NBW), survival chance

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