Clinical Outcomes in Late-Preterm, Early-Term, and Full-Term Neonates in a Tertiary Care Hospital: A Prospective Observational Study

Rahul Mansing Kadam, Vankayalapati Sri Venkateswara Prasad, Gopi Kiran Meduri


Background: The last few years have seen a rise in late-preterm and early-term births. They are physiologically and metabolically immature compared with full-term neonates.

Aim: To compare the short-term morbidities and mortality in late-preterm and early-term neonates with that of full-term neonates

Materials and Methods: This prospective observational study was conducted in a level 3 neonatal unit. The neonates born in the gestational age between 34 and 41 weeks and admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) within the first 24 hours of life were included for the study. Neonates with major congenital malformations and multifetal gestation were excluded. The primary outcome measures of the study were to evaluate the incidence of perinatal death and various short-term morbidities.

Results: The incidence of respiratory morbidities (eg, respiratory distress syndrome, transient tachypnea of the newborn, culture-positive early-onset sepsis, hemodynamically significant patent ductus arteriosus, and neonatal hyperbilirubinemia) was higher in the late-preterm and early-term neonates compared with the full-term neonates.

Conclusions: Targeted obstetric practices and increasing awareness in mothers to reduce late-preterm and early-term deliveries will have a significant influence on healthcare costs by reducing NICU admissions.

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