To determine whether birth and care in the highest-level hospitals (level III) compared with birth in or postnatal transfer to lower-level hospitals (level II) are associated with 5-year morbidity in very preterm children.
A cohort study.
All surviving 5-year-old children born very preterm (gestational age
The place and time of birth influence the mortality of premature infants. We studied the effect of prematurity, time of birth, birth hospital level and district on the development and behaviour in a national cohort of 5-year-old Finnish very low birthweight infants (VLBWI). All surviving VLBWI (gestational age
To investigate the effect of maternal, infant and birth hospital district related factors on the length of initial hospital stay in very preterm infants. In addition, rehospitalization rate within the first year from the initial discharge was studied.
A register study covering all very preterm infants (gestational age
This study examined the impact of prematurity-related morbidity on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of premature children at eight years of age, compared to term born controls of same age.
We focused on 155 premature, very low birth weight (VLBW) infants weighing up to 1500 g who were born from 2001 to 2006 in Turku University Hospital, Finland, and compared them with 129 full-term controls. Cognitive development and length was assessed at five years of age and the children self-reported 17 dimensions of HRQoL at eight years of age. The VLBW group was subdivided into healthy children and those with prematurity-related morbidities.
Our findings showed that 64.5% of the VLBW children did not have prematurity-related morbidities. The HRQoL of the healthy preterm VLBW children was very good and did not differ significantly from the controls. However, the VLBW children with one or more morbidities had significantly lower scores in nine of the 17 HRQoL dimensions than the children in the control group.
The majority of the VLBW children survived without prematurity-related morbidities, and their HRQoL was very good and similar to the control children. The main goal of neonatal care for preterm infants should be to prevent long-term morbidities.
The objective of this study was to determine how the use of hospital resources during the first 3 years of life was associated with prematurity-related morbidity in very preterm infants (gestational age of
This article summarizes the main findings of the preterm infant sub-study of the Performance, Effectiveness and Costs of Treatment episodes (PERFECT) study. We studied effects of birth hospital level and time of birth on mortality and morbidity and cost-effectiveness of care of very low gestational age (VLGA)/very low birth weight (VLBW) infants.
The study included all infants born below 32 weeks or 1501 g in Finland in 2000-2007. Different cohorts were used depending on the time point.
The one-year mortality of live-born VLBW/VLGA infants was higher if born in level II versus level III hospitals, or if born during out-of-office hours in level II versus office hours in level III hospitals. Two out of three VLGA/VLBW subjects did not have any of the prematurity-related morbidities studied. The average cost of quality-adjusted life years was €19,245 by four years of age; the cost was higher in VLGA/VLBW infants with long-term morbidities.
Birth in a level III hospital improved survival of VLGA/VLBW infants. Results suggest inadequate overnight competence in small hospitals. Despite high initial costs, care of VLGA/VLBW infants was already cost-effective by four years of age. Cost-effectiveness can be improved by reducing long-term morbidities.