Micro-premature infants in New Jersey show improved mortality and morbidity from 2000–2018

Cohen, M*, Perl, H, Steffen, E, Planer, B, Kushnir, A, Hudome, S, Brown, D, Myers, M. The New Jersey NICU Collaborative | JNPM 2021;

Abstract. BACKGROUND: Micro-premature newborns, gestational age (GA) ≤ 25 weeks, have high rates of mortality and morbidity. Literature has shown improving outcomes for extremely low gestational age newborns (ELGANs) GA ≤ 29 weeks, but few studies have addressed outcomes of ELGANs ≤ 25 weeks. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the trends in outcomes for ELGANs born in New Jersey, from 2000 to 2018 and to compare two subgroups: GA 23 to 25 weeks (E1) and GA 26 to 29 weeks (E2). METHODS: Thirteen NICUs in NJ submitted de-identified data. Outcomes for mortality and morbidity were calculated. RESULTS: Data from 12,707 infants represents the majority of ELGANs born in NJ from 2000 to 2018. There were 3,957 in the E1 group and 8,750 in the E2 group. Mortality decreased significantly in both groups; E1, 43.2% to 30.2% and E2, 7.6% to 4.5% over the 19 years. The decline in E1 was significantly greater than in E2. Most morbidities also showed significant improvement over time in both groups. Survival without morbidity increased from 14.5% to 30.7% in E1s and 47.2% to 69.9% in E2s. Similar findings held for 501–750 and 751–1000g birth weight strata. CONCLUSIONS: Significant declines in both mortality and morbidity have occurred in ELGANs over the last two decades. These rates of improvements for the more immature ELGANs of GA 230 to 256 weeks were greater than for the more mature group in several outcomes. While the rates of morbidity and mortality remain high, these results validate current efforts to support the micro-premature newborn.

*Corresponding Author: 

Morris Cohen, MBBCh, Division of Neonatal Medicine, Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, 201 Lyons Ave, Newark, NJ 07112, USA. Tel.: +1 973 926 7203; Fax: +1 973 926 2332; E-mail: morris.cohen@rwjbh.org.