Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the changing survival rate and morbidities among infants born before 26 gestational weeks at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH) in Muscat, Oman. Methods: This retrospective study assessed the mortality and morbidities of all premature infants born alive at 23–26 gestational weeks at SQUH between June 2006 and May 2013. Infants referred to SQUH within 72 hours of birth during this period were also included. Electronic records were reviewed for gestational age, gender, birth weight, maternal age, mode and place of delivery, antenatal steroid administration, morbidity and outcome. The survival rate was calculated and findings were then compared with those of a previous study conducted in the same hospital from 1991 to 1998. Rates of major morbidities were also calculated. Results: A total of 81 infants between 23–26 gestational weeks were admitted to the neonatal unit during the study period. Of these, 58.0% were male and 42.0% were female. Median gestational age was 25 weeks and mean birth weight was 770 ± 150 g. Of the 81 infants, 49 survived. The overall survival rate was 60.5% compared to 41% reported in the previous study. Respiratory distress syndrome (100.0%), retinopathy of prematurity (51.9%), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (34.6%), intraventricular haemorrhage (30.9%) and patent ductus arteriosus (28.4%) were the most common morbidities. Conclusion: The overall survival rate of infants between 23–26 gestational weeks during the study period had significantly improved in comparison to that found at the same hospital from 1991 to 1998. There is a need for the long-term neurodevelopmental follow-up of premature infants.
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