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South African Journal of Child Health

On-line version ISSN 1999-7671
Print version ISSN 1994-3032


MALAN, R et al. South African neonates with mild and moderate hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. S. Afr. j. child health [online]. 2022, vol.16, n.3, pp.134-138. ISSN 1999-7671.

BACKGROUND. Clear risk profiles of neonates with mild and moderate hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) are lacking. OBJECTIVE. To describe and compare factors associated with mild and moderate HIE in South African neonates. METHODS. A prospective, comparative design was used to describe factors among South African neonates with mild (n=13) and moderate (n=33) HIE in an urban tertiary academic hospital. HIE diagnosis and encephalopathy grading were conducted using the modified Sarnat stages. Thompson scores were recorded. Participants' clinical records were reviewed to identify factors. Descriptive data were obtained. Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare categorical data, and Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare continuous data between groups. RESULTS. Significant differences were found between groups' admission (p<0.001) and highest Thompson scores (p<0.001). The mild group's APGAR scores were significantly higher than those of the moderate group at five (p=0.012) and ten minutes (p=0.022). Duration of resuscitation (p=0.011) and time to spontaneous respiration (p=0.012) also differed significantly between groups. Significantly more moderate than mild participants received therapeutic hypothermia (TH) (p<0.001). CONCLUSION. Clinical tests and management factors differed significantly between groups. The findings provided the multidisciplinary team with an increased understanding of the heterogeneous HIE population and add to existing evidence for identifying neonates eligible for TH in resource-limited settings.

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