A follow-up study, to compare the short-term outcome of preterms, in two hospitals in Al Qassim region, Saudi Arabia.
Preterms admitted in two hospitals, 47 in hospital A and 36 in hospital B, were followed from admission until one month after discharge. Preterms were compared on gestational age, birth weight, birth head circumference and length of stay. Outcome measures were weight gain per day, feeding patterns on discharge and feeding patterns one month after discharge compared with the feeding of normal infants (200 infants) at the age of 6 weeks.
No difference was found between the two hospitals on admission in gestational age, mean birth weight, birth head circumference and length of stay. Mean weight gain per day was significantly higher in hospital A, 9.56 (± 19.7) gm, compared to 1.22 (± 29.47) gm in hospital B. (P=0.049). But the proportion of exclusive breast fed infants, one month after discharge was higher in hospital B, 37.5% compared to 13.2% in hospital A. (p=0.0224).
Our study showed that there is a clear hospital level difference in the same region, in the short-term outcome. This emphasizes that outcome should be continuously followed and that differences should be evaluated in perinatal audit procedure.