This study was a comparison of neonatal mortality rates in four maternity hospitals in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The study population consisted of newborns with birth weight below 1,500g. The research instrument was a questionnaire with data reported by the mother and collected from the patient record. For each maternity hospital the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was calculated using the direct and indirect method, using the weight distribution of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research as the standard. The final sample consisted of 487 newborns. Standardizations by the direct and indirect method showed high mortality rates in all four institutions; those showing the largest number of newborns in the lowest weight brackets were those with the lowest SMR values. The lowest mortality ratio by weight bracket was in the 500 to 749g group. The SMR results were inversely associated with the quantitative population of newborns in the lowest weight brackets. The mortality coefficients showed high rates, especially in the highest weight brackets. The results indicate deficient quality of perinatal care.
Neonatal Mortality; Very Low Birth Weight Infant; Maternity Hospitals