Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Neonatal Deaths in Cambodia: A Case Series

Version 1 : Received: 28 January 2019 / Approved: 30 January 2019 / Online: 30 January 2019 (05:15:16 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 21 May 2019 / Approved: 22 May 2019 / Online: 22 May 2019 (08:44:44 CEST)

How to cite: Bazzano, A.N.; Var, C.; Wilkosz, D.; Duggal, R.; Oberhelman, R.A. Neonatal Deaths in Cambodia: A Case Series. Preprints 2019, 2019010300. Bazzano, A.N.; Var, C.; Wilkosz, D.; Duggal, R.; Oberhelman, R.A. Neonatal Deaths in Cambodia: A Case Series. Preprints 2019, 2019010300.


Introduction: Neonatal mortality has declined in Cambodia but remains a key contributor to under-five deaths. The aim of this study was to further understanding of potential factors contributing to high neonatal mortality rates in Cambodia through assessment of verbal autopsies collected following newborn deaths. The study team analyzed verbal autopsies of perinatal deaths in order to describe timing and causes of neonatal deaths, demographic data, and factors potentially related to mortality. Methods: The case series data derive from 13 verbal autopsy reports collected in rural southern Cambodia. The mortality review was nested within a trial of a behavioral intervention to improve newborn survival, and was conducted after the close of the trial. The study examined all neonatal deaths occurring to infants born at 16 health centers between in the study site of Takeo province. The World Health Organization standardized definition of neonatal mortality was employed, and two pediatricians independently reviewed data collected from each event to assign a cause of death. Results: Thirteen newborn deaths of infants born at a health facility were reported during the time period February 2015–November 2016. Ten out of the 13 deaths (76.92%) were early neonatal deaths, two (15.38%) were late neonatal deaths, and one was a stillbirth. Five out of 13 deaths (38.46%) occurred within the first day of life, indicating death was likely due to an intrapartum event. The largest single contributor to mortality was neonatal sepsis; six of 13 deaths (46.15%) were attributed to some form of sepsis. Twenty-three percent of the deaths were attributed to asphyxia. Other causes of death included stillbirth and prematurity. Eight deaths (61.54%) occurred within the control group of the larger intervention study. Conclusion: The study highlights the continuing need to improve both intrapartum and postnatal quality of care and infection prevention and control, and to fully address causes of sepsis, in order to effectively reduce mortality in the newborn period.


infant; newborn; Cambodia; child mortality; perinatal mortality; case reports


Medicine and Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

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