Incidence of and risk factors for neonatal respiratory depression and encephalopathy in rural Sarlahi, Nepal
Birth asphyxia; Developing country; Intrapartum; Neonatal encephalopathy; Neonatal respiratory depression; Nepal; Neurodevelopment
OBJECTIVES: To characterize the incidence of, risk factors for, and neonatal morbidity and mortality associated with respiratory depression at birth and neonatal encephalopathy (NE) among term infants in a developing country. METHODS: Data were collected prospectively in 2002-2006 during a community-based trial that enrolled 23 662 newborns in rural Nepal and evaluated the impact of umbilical-cord and skin cleansing on neonatal morbidity and mortality rates. Respiratory depression at birth and NE were defined on the basis of symptoms from maternal reports and study-worker observations during home visits. RESULTS: Respiratory depression at birth was reported for 19.7% of live births, and 79% of cases involved term infants without congenital anomalies. Among newborns with probable intrapartum-related respiratory depression (N = 3465), 112 (3%) died before their first home visit (presumed severe NE), and 178 (5%) eventually developed symptoms of NE. Overall, 629 term infants developed NE (28.1 cases per 1000 live births); 2% of cases were associated with congenital anomalies, 25% with infections, and 28% with a potential intrapartum event. The incidence of intrapartum-related NE was 13.0 cases per 1000 live births; the neonatal case fatality rate was 46%. Infants with NE more frequently experienced birth complications and were male, of multiple gestation, or born to nulliparous mothers. CONCLUSIONS: In Sarlahi, the incidence of neonatal respiratory depression and NE, associated neonatal case fatality, and morbidity prevalence are high. Action is required to increase coverage of skilled obstetric/neonatal care in this setting and to evaluate long-term impairments. Copyright © 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Lee, A., Mullany, L., Tielsch, J., Katz, J., Khatry, S., LeClerq, S., Adhikari, R., & Darmstadt, G. (2011). Incidence of and risk factors for neonatal respiratory depression and encephalopathy in rural Sarlahi, Nepal. Pediatrics, 128 (4). http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2010-3590