Gowri Edagotti1, Ramanjaneyulu Ulli2, Harsha Bharadwaj Korrapolu3, Ramu Pedada4
Prematurity is a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. In recent years, there has been a lot of interest in the late preterm neonates. During the recent past, the proportion of these late preterm births has increased. The purpose of this study was to determine morbidity, mortality, and outcome at one month of age amongst late preterm neonates.
This is a hospital based descriptive observational study (Cohort study) conducted at Siddhartha Medical College, Government General Hospital, Vijayawada from January 2019 to December 2020. This study has got Institutional Ethics Committee approval (Regn. No: IEC/2019/062/SMC, Dt: 04/02/2019). The study included 300 late preterm neonates and 300 term neonates (as controls). They were enrolled after considering inclusion, exclusion criteria and parental consent.
A total of 300 late preterm neonates were taken as cases and for each late preterm one term infant was included as controls. Late preterm neonates had a mean gestational age of 35 weeks. Term neonates had a mean gestational age of 38 weeks. Late preterm neonates are 2.5 times more likely to develop hyperbilirubinaemia compared to their term counterparts. Late preterm neonates are twice as likely to develop hypoglycaemia compared to their term counterparts. 7.3 % of late preterm neonates are found to have hypothermia compared to 1.67 % of term neonates. 10.67 % of late preterm neonates have sepsis compared to 2.33 % of term neonates. After initial discharge, 5.33 % of late preterm neonates required readmission in the hospital due to various causes. Late preterm neonates had a total mortality of 3 %, and term neonates had a mortality of 0.67 %.
Late preterm neonates are physiologically immature and have limited compensatory responses to the extra-uterine environment when compared with term neonates. They are at a significantly higher risk of morbidity during the neonatal period compared to term neonates. Considering this, they should be treated as preterm neonates, monitored carefully and should not be looked upon as near-term.