Yoshihito Sasaki , MD, PhD , 1 , Kaoru Ishikawa , MD, PhD 2 , Akira Yokoi , MD, PhD 3 , Tomoaki Ikeda , MD, PhD 4 , Kazuo Sengoku , MD, PhD 5 , Satoshi Kusuda , MD, PhD 6 , Masanori Fujimura , MD, PhD 7
03 October 2019
Outborn (born outside tertiary centers) infants, especially extremely preterm infants, are at an increased risk of mortality and morbidity in comparison to inborn (born in tertiary centers) infants. Extremely preterm infants require not only skilled neonatal healthcare providers but also highly specialized equipment and environment surroundings. Maternal transport at an appropriate timing must be done to avoid the delivery of extremely preterm infants in a facility without the necessary capabilities. Cases of unexpected deliveries at birth centers or level I maternity hospitals need to be attended emergently. We compared the differences in short- and long-term outcomes between outborn and inborn infants to improve our regional perinatal system.
Extremely preterm infants (gestational age between 22 + 0 and 27 + 6 wk) in the Neonatal Research Network of Japan database between 2003 and 2011.
A total of 12,164 extremely preterm infants, who were divided into outborn ( n = 785, 6.5%) and inborn ( n = 11,379, 93.5%) groups, were analyzed. Significant differences were observed in demographic and clinical factors between the two groups. Outborn infants had higher short-term odds of severe intraventricular hemorrhage (adjusted odds ratio, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.11–2.00; p < 0.01), necrotizing enterocolitis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.11–2.00; p < 0.01), and focal intestinal perforation (adjusted odds ratio, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.09–2.30; p = 0.02). There were no significant differences in long-term outcomes between the two groups, except in the rate of cognitive impairment (adjusted odds ratio, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.01–2.20; p = 0.04).
The frequency of severe intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis or focal intestinal perforation, and cognitive impairment was significantly higher in outborn infants. Thus, outborn/inborn birth status may play a role in short- and long-term outcomes of extremely preterm infants. However, more data and evaluation of improvement in the current perinatal environment are needed.