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Keywords:

  • chronic lung disease;
  • inborn;
  • neonatal transport;
  • outborn;
  • very low-birthweight

Abstract

Background:  The aim of the present study was to compare the neonatal outcome of very low-birthweight (VLBW) preterm infants with regard to inborn and outborn status in a medical center of Southern Taiwan, where short-distance neonatal transport is the rule and maternal transport was not well established.

Methods:  This retrospective study included outborn VLBW preterm infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Kaohsiung after neonatal transport during the period from 1999 through 2003. An equal number of inborn preterm infants matched for gender and birthweight were included as controls. Infants with lethal congenital anomalies or who died in the delivery room were excluded. Data were collected from reviewing medical charts.

Results:  A total of 34 inborn VLBW infants and 34 outborn VLBW infants with neonatal transport were included. Chronic lung disease (CLD) was significantly more frequent in the outborn group according to McNemar test (= 0.0124) and logistic regression. Logistic regression also showed that outborn status (= 0.0173) and birthweight (= 0.0024) were the two most important risk factors for development of CLD.

Conclusion:  Well-trained short distance neonatal transport is useful and valuable for VLBW infants with gestation age of 27–34 weeks in Southern Taiwan. The respiratory outcome, however, was poor in the outborn group in terms of incidence of CLD. To improve the respiratory outcome, further modification of respiratory care during transportation or antenatal maternal transport is crucial.