Currently, prematurity has been noted to be the commonest cause of under-five mortality globally, well above pneumonias and malaria. The survival chances of babies born preterm in the resource constraints settings is unacceptably low though vary significantly depending on where they are born.
Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the characteristics and predictors of survival of preterm babies at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri.
This is a retrospective study that was conducted in Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) of the Paediatrics Department of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri. The study was conducted over eight year period from 1st January 2008 to 31st December 2015. Data extracted from the folders of all preterm babies that were managed in the SCBU includes mothers age, booking status, previous preterm birth, educational status, employment status, Fathers age, educational status, and employment status, place of delivery. That newborns includes birth order, mode of delivery, type of gestation, birth weight, APGAR scores at 1, 5 and 10 minutes after birth respectively, difficulty in breathing, apnoea, fever, feeding problems.
There were 3435 admissions during the study period, out of these 1129/3435 (32.86%) were preterm babies giving a prevalence of 32.9%. Male preterm babies were 372 (52.1%), while female preterm babies were 342 (47.9%); with the male to female ratio of 1:1.08. When factors with P – value < 0.1 in all crude analysis were adjusted in a multivariate regression analysis, weight class for GA (P = 0.108) and APGAR score at 1 minutes (P = 0.552) did not demonstrate independent association with PTBs survival while other factors including GA (P = 0.033), birth weight (P = 0.024), duration of incubator care (P = 0.001), place of delivery (P = 0.034) and APGAR score at 5 minutes (P = 0.018) showed independent prediction of PTBs outcomes.
Babies born in hospital were 2.2 times more likely to survive than those born at home. PTBs born without asphyxia (Apgar score at 5 minute >7) were about 2.3 times more likely to survive the first six weeks of life.
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