Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Jayne Cohen

Second Advisor

Amy Beddoe


Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


Purpose: To describe the morbidity and mortality of very low birth weight (VLBW) infant graduates of a level three neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in a medically underserved population. Design: A retrospective chart analysis of 181 live born infants at a regional tertiary center between 2004-2006. Sample: Infants born with a birth weight of 425-1489 grams and gestational age of23-40 weeks (n=127). Main outcome variable: Descriptive statistics were used to describe the incidence of associated VLB W morbidities presenting after discharge along with hospital readmissions and mortality rates. Results: VLBW infants discharged from the NICU had chronic lung disease (24.4%), hearing loss (5.5%), seizures (3%), cerebral palsy (1.6%), mental retardation (0.8%), and visual loss (0.8%). They also showed abnormal neurodevelopmental findings (59%), speech/language disorders (12.5%) and behavioral/learning disorders (1.5%). One death (<1%) was reported after discharge. Forty-five children (35%) were readmitted to the hospital after discharge accounting for 78 hospital admissions.