Increasing survival of extremely low birthweight infants in Alaska
Kesler, K.; Krywanio, M.
Alaska Medicine 34(4): 167-172
The survival and characteristics of extremely premature infants with a birthweight between 500 and 750 grams, who were treated at Providence Hospital newborn intensive care unit, were reviewed over the years 1987 to 1989. Forty infants were admitted and treated. Survival increased from 21 percent in 1987, 47 percent in 1988 to 82 percent in 1989. Changes in perinatal and neonatal factors over the three years were reviewed and comparisons between survivors and non-survivors were analyzed. Stepwise regression analysis revealed significant increases in the incidence of chorioamnionitis and birthweight over the period. Increased survival was noted even when infants from 1989, who received artificial surfactant, were excluded (survival increased from 21 percent in 1987 to 75 percent in 1989). Recent literature on extremely low birthweight infants, including neurodevelopmental outcome, is reviewed. Survival of extremely low birthweight infants in Alaska is increasing because of multiple changes in obstetrical and pediatric practices.