Objective: To document the number, disease pattern and outcome of patients admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at a high altitude having catchment areas of patients at about the same level.
Design: Descriptive study
Method: The study was conducted at a level II Care NICU at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences at Gangtok from November 2004 to October 2005. The data of all the admitted neonates were analyzed for age, weight at the time of admission, sex, cause of admission and outcome.
Results: 212 neonates (58% males) were admitted during the study period. 17.5% were admitted within 6 hours of birth and 51.4% within 72 hours of birth. Neonatal jaundice, prematurity, infections and birth asphyxia were the major causes of admission. NICU mortality was 8%. The most common cause of death was prematurity followed by birth asphyxia.
Conclusions: Study showed relatively increased incidence of neonatal jaundice and decreased neonatal infections at high altitude.
(Key words: neonatal jaundice; birth asphyxia; high altitude)