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neonate, prematurity, congenital problems, birth asphyxia
Background: Neonatal mortality accounts for nearly half of the deaths of children under the age of five, the main leading causes for which are respiratory distress, infection, and congenital anomalies. Action plans, which call for the elimination of preventable deaths of newborn babies, set specific targets to reduce neonatal mortality. This retrospective descriptive study was conducted in the Basra Teaching Hospital for maternity and childhood from January 2019 to February 2020, including all the neonates who were admitted in the first and second neonatal care units of the hospital.
Aim: This study aims to study the main causes of neonatal deaths in newborn babies in the neonatal care units at the main maternity and pediatric hospital of the Basra government.
Patients and methods: A total of 716 neonatal deaths were registered along with days of life before death and the cause of death; the cases were classified as early (1–6) days death and late (7–28) days death.
Results: In this study, we found that the main causes of early neonatal death were respiratory distress syndrome (68.4%), congenital anomalies (11.4%), infection (10.9%), birth asphyxia (7.2%), and other neonatal conditions (inborn error of metabolism, hemorrhagic disease of newborn, severe anemia, and unspecified causes) (2.1%), while for late neonatal death, respiratory distress (27.2%), congenital problems (17.7%), infection (45.6%), birth asphyxia (6.1%), and other conditions (3.4%) were cited.
Conclusions: It is important to direct the health resources towards preventable causes of neonatal deaths both before, during and after the delivery of a baby when the higher risk factors are preventable (prematurity, birth problems, and sepsis). Using all available resources to decrease preterm labors and mother education toward pregnancy and to improve the facilities and quality of neonatal care at the delivery room and neonatal care units.
Keywords: neonate, prematurity, congenital problems, birth asphyxia
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