Research

The outcome of newborns admitted to kangaroo mother care units at regional hospitals in KwaZulu‑Natal, South Africa

W H Benguma, N Khan, N H McKerrow

Abstract


Background. Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is a common modality of care for low birthweight and preterm newborns, with good long-term outcomes at low cost. However, little is known about the short-term outcomes of babies during their stay in a KMC unit.

Objective. To describe the profile and outcome of newborn babies admitted to KMC units. Method. A retrospective chart review was undertaken of babies admitted to the KMC units of two Durban hospitals over a two-year period. All babies with birthweights below 2 000 g admitted to the KMC units for the first time during this period were included. Poor outcome was defined as a death in the KMC unit or need for readmission to the neonatal nursery.

Result. Two hundred and twenty-four newborns were included in the study. The median maternal age was 25 years. The newborns had a median gestational age of 32 weeks, median birthweight of 1 500 g, median KMC unit admission weight of 1 600 g, and median age on admission to the KMC units of 9.5 days. Twenty-six percent of babies had a poor outcome, including seven deaths. Significant factors associated with a poor outcome included a birth or admission weight to KMC units below 1 500 g, HIV-negative mothers; and abnormal temperature or blood glucose levels.

Conclusion. Seventy-four percent of babies admitted to KMC were discharged home after an uneventful stay. Poor outcomes were associated with a birth or KMC admission weight below 1 500 g and an abnormal temperature or blood glucose level while admitted to the KMC unit


Authors' affiliations

W H Benguma, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

N Khan, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

N H McKerrow, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2021;15(2):83-88. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2021.v15i2.01739

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-07-21
Date published: 2021-07-21

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