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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


MATIJASEVICH, Alicia; BARROS, Fernando C.; FORTEZA, Carolina A.  and  DIAZ-ROSSELLO, José L.. Health care of very low birth weight infants in Montevideo, Uruguay: a comparison between public and private sectors. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2001, vol.77, n.4, pp.313-320. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: to compare morbidity and mortality in very low birthweight infants admitted to public and private intensive care units in Montevideo, Uruguay. METHODS: longitudinal design. All very low birth weight infants born in public hospitals of Montevideo between May 1st and October 31st, 1999, were included in the study and followed up until they were discharged from hospital, or died. The quality of care, and morbidity and mortality rates obtained in private intensive care units were compared with those observed in public intensive care units (infants who were never transferred). RESULTS: of 141 infants, 19 were excluded from the study (13 died at the delivery room and six were transferred to intensive care units of other public hospitals). Of the remaining 122 infants, 61 were kept at the intensive care units of public hospitals, and 61 were transferred to a private unit. The infants who were transferred presented lower gestational age and increased neonatal depression. However, mortality among infants treated at intensive care units of public hospitals was twice as high (Hazard Ratio 1.8; 95%CI 1.1- 3.4; P=0.04), especially in infants who weighed less than 1,000g (Hazard Ratio 2.4; 95%CI 1.1-5.5; P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS: the health status of very low birth weight infants treated at intensive care units of public and private hospitals in Montevideo, Uruguay, was assessed. Mortality was lower, and health care was better in neonatal units of private hospitals.

Keywords : infant very low birth weight; intensive care, neonatal; infant mortality; morbidity; child health services.

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