Factors Responsible for the Prolonged Stay of Surgical Neonates in Intensive Care Units

Khalid M. Bhatti, Zainab N. Al-Balushi, Mahmoud H. Sherif, Sareyah M. Al-Sibai, Ashfaq A. Khan, Mazen A. Mohammed, Maria F. Batacalan, Cheryl C. Montemayor, Mohammad Fazalullah, Masood Ahmed, Mathew Kripail, Asad ur- Rahman, Zenaida Reyes, Mohamed Abdellatif


Objectives: The length of hospital stay (HS) for patients is a major concern due to its social, economic and administrative implications; this is particularly important for neonates admitted to intensive care units (ICUs). This study aimed to determine the factors responsible for prolonged HS in surgical neonates. Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, in Muscat, Oman. The medical records of 95 neonates admitted to the neonatal ICU who underwent general surgical procedures between July 2009 and June 2013 were reviewed. Mann-Whitney U and Pearson’s Chi-squared tests were used for non-parametric numerical and categorical variables, respectively. A multiple regression analysis was performed to find a relationship between the variables and to detect the most important factor responsible for prolonged HS. A P value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Gestational age, birth weight, number of days on a ventilator and postoperative morbidity were associated with prolonged HS. Furthermore, the age of neonates at first full enteral feed was associated with increased HS using both independent and multiple regression analyses. Conclusion: Prolonged HS can occur as a result of many factors. In this study, a number of factors were identified, including low gestational age, low birth weight, increased number of days on a ventilator and postoperative morbidity. Additionally, neonate age at first full enteral feeds also correlated with increased HS. Further research on this topic is suggested to explore this correlation in more detail and to inform future practices.


Neonates; Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU); Length of Stay; Morbidity; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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