Predictors of mortality in premature babies with respiratory distress syndrome treated by early rescue surfactant therapy

Abstract: OBJECTIVE:To determine the predictors of mortality following early rescue surfactant therapy in preterm babies with respiratory distress syndrome. STUDY DESIGN:Prospective cohort study enrolling babies between 28 weeks to 34 weeks with respiratory distress syndrome requiring early rescue surfactant therapy. For statistical analysis babies were further divided into two subgroups: survivors and non-survivors. Maternal and neonatal variables were compared between the two groups to find out the predictors of mortality. RESULTS:Out of total 110 babies, 72 (65.45%) survived. The mean birth weight and mean gestational age of the study population was 1614.36 (±487.86) g and 31.40 (±2.0)1 weeks, respectively. Birth weight < 1500 g, gestational age < 32 weeks, primiparity, vaginal delivery, prolonged rupture of membranes, lack of antenatal steroid cover, bag and mask ventilation at birth, sepsis, apneic episodes and mechanical ventilation were significantly associated with death on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis, very low birth weight, vaginal delivery, lack of antenatal steroid cover, bag and mask ventilation at birth and mechanical ventilation were found to be independent predictors of mortality. CONCLUSIONS:Some of the identified predictors of mortality are modifiable and can be used to draw up a screening tool to predict the clinical severity and mortality among these babies.

*Corresponding Author: 

Dr Isha Saini, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India. Tel.: +9196050906833; E-mail: