Clinical and Economic Challenges of Moderate Preterm Babies Born between 32+0 and 36+6 Weeks of Gestation

Universitätsmedizin Mainz, Klinik und Poliklinik für Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde, Germany.
Zeitschrift für Geburtshilfe und Neonatologie (Impact Factor: 0.48). 08/2011; 215(4):158-62. DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1275740
Source: PubMed


Preterm births show a worldwide increasing incidence. The majority of preterm births occur between 32+0 and 36+6 weeks of gestation and are associated with an increased rate of maternal and neonatal morbidity. The focus of our research is the clinical and economical analysis of all preterm births between 32+0 and 36+6 weeks of gestation in a German level 1 perinatal centre over a period of 3 years.
A retrospective analysis of all preterm births between 32+0 and 36+6 weeks of gestation in the University Hospital Mainz from 2007 to 2009 was undertaken. Data were collected using our electronic documentation system. Gestational age at delivery, mode of birth, indication for delivery, duration of the peripartum treatment, treatment of the newborn in the children's hospital, birth weight and therapy costs were evaluated.
We recorded 407 moderate preterm births in total; this amounts to a rate of of 10% of all births. Major causes of prematurity were PPROM, preterm labour and preeclampsia/HELLP. Maternal and fetal systemic diseases were more uncommon. Rates of Caesarean sections (62%) and of neonatal inpatient treatment needs (58.5%) were high. Maternal treatment costs were 332 Euro/day. The mean duration of maternal inpatient treatment was 13.15 days.
Moderate preterm birth is associated with maternal morbidity frequently due to a high rate of Caesarean sections. Neonatal morbidity is also increased. In comparison with previous research, we saw an increased rate of pregnancy complications. This could be typical for a level 1 perinatal centre. Moderate preterm birth is seen as the cause of considerable treatment costs.

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