Risk Factors Associated with Infant Death Among Very Low Birth Weight Infants After Discharge from an Intensive Care Nursery

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Low birth weight infants have an increased incidence of death after discharge from the intensive care nursery (ICN). To evaluate factors associated with death, and especially unexpected death, we conducted a study on 724 infants discharged from our ICN with a birth weight 1500 g or less. Twenty-four infants died during the 1st year after discharge. Univariate analyses and logistic regression analyses were used to examine the effects of birth weight, gestational age, race, gender, growth retardation, chronic lung disease (CLD), intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), and socioeconomic risk on postdischarge death. Of the risk factors studied, only CLD (p = .001) and ICH (p = .004) were independently associated with death, but ICH alone was the most worrisome risk factor associated with sudden, unexpected death in low birth weight infants after discharge from an ICN.

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