Objective: This study aims at finding a new cut off point for low birth weight and intensive care based upon mortality and morbidity.
Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted at Acharya Vinoba Bhave Rural Hospital, Sawangi, Wardha, Maharashtra. All the in-borns weighing <2kg were categorized as per birth weight and gestational age and the cutoff point used for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission was 1.8kg in term and 2kg if premature. If within 24hrs the baby was shifted to the post natal ward it was taken as post natal ward (PNC) admission and vice versa. Morbidity (based upon the NICU/ PNC stay) and mortality pattern of these babies was noted. Outcome of different weight groups and gestational age was analyzed and compared. Statistical package- SPSS was used for analysis.
Results: A total of 113 babies of which 65(57%) preterm and 48(42%) term weighing 2kg or less were included in the study. NICU stay was considered equivalent to presence of morbidity. Among the preterms 62(95%) were admitted in NICU and 28(58%) of term babies were in PNC. In 1.8-2kg weight group, 79% of term babies could be managed in PNC, where as 66% of preterms needed NICU care. In 1.8-1.6kg group, 95% of preterm and 35% of term babies needed NICU admission. For every weight band, mortality and morbidity was more in preterm. The mortality among the preterm babies above 1.8kg was as high as 34% where as in term babies in this weight group it was only 5%.
Conclusion: Hence this study shows that cut off point for low birth weight that needs special care can be 2kg for preterm and 1.8kg for term babies.