INTRODUCTION: Objective: Our aim was to compare the rate of morbidity and mortality of late preterm and term infants during hospitalization in the third-level neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
METHODS: 743 late preterm and 489 term infants who were born and followed up in the third level NICU were evaluated retrospectively. The birth weight, mode of delivery, gestational week, gender, duration of hospitalization, problems in neonatal and post-discharge period and rate of mortality were investigated. The rate of mortality and morbidity were compared between the groups.
RESULTS: Respiratory distress (RDS) was the most common (40.3%) cause of hospitalization. The rate of necrotizing enterocolitis, RDS and bronchopulmonary dysplasia were significantly higher in late preterms. 62 (8.3%) of the late preterms and 88 (18%) of the term babies died. Congenital anomalies (55%) were the major cause of mortality in the term group, whereas RDS (35%), surgical interventions, long-term hospitalization, and infection were the main causes of mortality in the late preterm group.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The high mortality rate in our study was due to the fact that our study included only the babies hospitalized in 3rd level NICU. It must be kept in mind that late preterms experience most of the problems of ongoing prematurity; therefore, they shouldnt be delivered unless there is absolute obstetric and/or fetal indication.