Mortality and morbidity of very preterm infants in Romania: How are we doing?




Birth before 28 weeks of gestation is associated with high mortality and morbidity. The purpose of this study was to examine characteristics associated with in-hospital mortality and morbidity among extremely low-birthweight neonates admitted to three tertiary care centers in Romania.


The study was conducted in three Romanian hospitals with level-III neonatal intensive care units. We studied singleton live births at the established Romanian limit of viability (i.e., 25–28 weeks' gestational age) born between January 2007 and December 2010 (n = 227). Infants born in non-level-III facilities transferred to these three centers were included in our study (n = 39). Descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses were used to describe the population and examine outcomes and risk factors.


During the study period, 62 neonates (27.3%) were delivered at 25 weeks, 56 (24.7%) were delivered at 26 weeks, 56 (24.7%) at 27 weeks, and 53 (23.3%) at 28 weeks. Overall in-hospital mortality was 65% (from 85% at 25 weeks to 35% at 28 weeks). The rates for major morbidities were necrotizing enterocolitis 8.8%, bronchopulmonary dysplasia 12.5%, and retinopathy of prematurity (stage higher than 2) 26.2%.


During 2007–2010, in-hospital survival of infants admitted to three neonatal intensive care units in Romania was 35% and ranged from 14% at 25 weeks to 64% at 28 weeks.