Birth asphyxia survivors in a developing country
Objective: Determine the baseline incidence of birth asphyxia in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) survivors in a developing country and the early neurodevelopmental outcomes of such infants.
Study Design: This cross-sectional, prospective study collected diagnostic and examination findings on all infants seen in the University of Zambia NICU follow-up clinic over a 4-week period.
Result: Of the 182 infants, 42 (23%) had a clinical diagnosis of birth asphyxia. Of 42 infants with birth asphyxia, 13 (31%) had an abnormal neurologic examination during the clinic visit; in contrast, 13 of 141 infants without birth asphyxia (9%) had an abnormal examination (odds ratio 4.4, 95% confidence interval: 1.8, 10.4).
Conclusion: Birth asphyxia survivors account for almost a quarter of NICU survivors in a developing country and half of those with an abnormal neurologic examination. Studies are necessary to determine the percent of birth asphyxia survivors who have permanent motor and cognitive disabilities.
Halloran, D. R., McClure, E., Chakraborty, H., Chomba, E., Wright, L. L., & Carlo, W. A. (2009). Birth asphyxia survivors in a developing country. Journal of Perinatology, 29(3), 243-249. DOI: 10.1038/jp.2008.192