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August 1974

A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Four-Year Summary

Author Affiliations

From the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Wisconsin Perinatal Center, Madison.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(2):165-170. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110270039008

This report summarizes the first four years' experience of a regional neonatal intensive care unit. The facility, located in a community hospital, includes a normal newborn nursery, an observation unit, and an intensive care unit. Seventeen percent of the births enter the observation unit, and 5% are admitted to the intensive care unit. A smaller percent of regional births (1.3%), totaling 604, were transferred to the intensive care unit in the four-year period.

Respiratory distress was the reason for admission in about 45% of intensive care patients. Hyperbilirubinemia occured in 21%, and surgery was performed on 10%. A total of 25% of all patients admitted to the intensive care unit died. The survival rate increased with birth weight (20% to 30% <1,000 gm [2.2 lb]; 80% to 92% ≥ 3,000 gm [6.6 lb]), and varied with the type of disease.