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Vol. 95, No. 2, 2009
Issue release date: February 2009
Section title: Original Paper
Neonatology 2009;95:157–163
(DOI:10.1159/000153100)

Causes and Circumstances of Neonatal Deaths in 108 Consecutive Cases over a 10-Year Period at the Children’s Hospital of Lucerne, Switzerland

Berger T.M. · Hofer A.
Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Hospital of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 12/4/2007
Accepted: 3/10/2008
Published online: 9/6/2008

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 1661-7800 (Print)
eISSN: 1661-7819 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEO

Abstract

Background: Neonatal deaths still represent the largest percentage of overall childhood mortality. Many deaths of neonates are preceded by end-of-life decisions; however, decision-making practices have been reported to vary widely from country to country. Objectives: To analyze principal causes and circumstances of all consecutive neonatal deaths at our institution over a 10-year period. Methods: All neonates who had died either in the delivery room (DR) or the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2006 were identified. Demographic information, principal causes and circumstances of death were abstracted from the individual medical records. Results: There were approximately 72,000 live births in the catchment area of our center with 15,150 deliveries occurring at the Women’s Hospital of Lucerne. Of the 108 deaths identified, 29 occurred in the DR (DR mortality rate 0.2%) and 79 in the NICU (NICU mortality rate 2.3%). The majority of DR deaths occurred in the setting of primary nonintervention and were related to extreme prematurity (n = 20), lethal congenital malformations (n = 6) and trisomy 13 (n = 2). One patient with severe perinatal asphyxia died despite full resuscitative efforts. In the NICU, overall mortality rate was inversely related to gestational age (GA). Cardiovascular and respiratory system failures were the predominant causes of death in premature infants with a GA <32 weeks, whereas CNS catastrophes accounted for the majority of deaths in the more mature NICU population. End-of-life decisions were common with less than 10% of deaths occurring despite maximal intensive care. Conclusions: In our perinatal center, primary nonintervention and redirection of care are the most common circumstances of death in neonates. This reflects our belief that, apart from futility, quality-of-life considerations are an important part of decision making in neonatology.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 12/4/2007
Accepted: 3/10/2008
Published online: 9/6/2008

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 1661-7800 (Print)
eISSN: 1661-7819 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEO


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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