Mortality, morbidity and clinical care in a referral neonatal intensive care unit in Haiti

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Neonatal mortality rates in Haiti are among the highest in the Western hemisphere. Few mothers deliver with a skilled birth attendant present, and there is a significant lack of pediatricians. The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital, a national referral center, is one of only five neonatology departments in Haiti. In order to target limited resources toward improving outcomes, this study seeks to describe clinical care in the St. Damien NICU.


A retrospective medical record review was performed on available medical records on all admissions to the NICU between April 2016 and April 2017.


220 neonates were admitted to the NICU within the study epoch. The mortality rate was 14.5%. Death was associated with a maternal diagnosis of hypertension (p = 0.03) and neonatal diagnoses of lower gestational age (p<0.0001), lower birth weight (p<0.0001), prematurity (p = 0.002), RDS p = 0.01), sepsis (p<0.0001) and kernicterus (p = 0.04). The most common diagnoses were sepsis, chorioamnionitis, respiratory distress syndrome, jaundice, prematurity and perinatal asphyxia.

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