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Background: The first month is the most crucial period for child survival. Neonatal mortality continues to remain high with little improvement over the years in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia. This region shows the least progress in reducing neonatal mortality and continues to be a significant public health issue. In this study setting, the causes and predictors of neonatal death in the neonatal intensive care units are not well documented. Hence, this study aimed to determine the causes and predictors of neonatal mortality among infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units in eastern Ethiopia. Methods: A facility-based in prospective follow-up study was conducted among neonates admitted to neonatal intensive care units of public hospitals of eastern Ethiopia from November 1 to December 30, 2018. Data were collected using a pretested structured questionnaire and a follow-up checklist. The main outcomes and causes of death were set by pediatricians and medical residents. EpiData 3.1 and Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 25 software were used for data entry and analysis, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of facility-based neonatal mortality. Results: The proportion of facility-based neonatal mortality was 20% (95% CI:16.7–23.8%). The causes of death were complications of preterm birth (28.58%), birth asphyxia (22.45%), neonatal infection (18.36%), meconium aspiration syndrome (9.18%), respiratory distress syndrome (7.14%), and congenital malformation (4.08%). Low birth weight, preterm births, length of stay of the neonatal intensive care unit, low 5min APGAR score, hyperthermia, and initiation of feeding were predictors of neonatal death among infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care units of public hospitals in eastern Ethiopia. Conclusions: The proportion of facility-based neonatal deaths was unacceptably high. The main causes of death were preventable and treatable. Hence, improving the timing and quality of antenatal care is essential for early detection, anticipating high-risk newborns, and timely interventions. Furthermore, early initiation of feeding and better referral linkage to tertiary health facilities could lead to a reduction in neonatal death in this setting.
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This page is a summary of: Cause and predictors of neonatal mortality among neonates admitted to neonatal intensive care units of public hospitals in eastern Ethiopia: a facility-based prospective follow-up study, BMC Pediatrics, April 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/s12887-020-02051-7.
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