• Early neonatal death;
  • neonatal intensive care;
  • obstetric service;
  • perinatal care;
  • perinatal mortality

ABSTRACT. A comparison of early neonatal deaths was performed in fourteen Swedish referral districts over six years (1973–1978). Two populations of newborn infants were compared: those born of mothers resident in referral districts of general hospitals with specialized obstetric service but without own neonatal wards; and those born of mothers living in districts of central hospitals with specialized obstetric and neonatal care in the same hospital. The early neonatal death rates of these two populations did not differ significantly. However, a tendency was observed indicating a lower mortality in the former group, necessitating further analysis.