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The outcome of 694 births of infants weighing <1500 grams from two sources was compared. 301 births occurred in 5 metro area hospitals (MH) with Level I nursery facilities; the high-risk infants were transported to Level III nurseries. 393 infants were born in University Hospital (UH) where Level III intrapartum and neonatal care are available. Fetal deaths were twice as frequent in the MH population as in the UH group, 25 vs. 12.5% (p <.01). Neonatal deaths were slightly increased in the MH, 37 vs. 30% but not to a significant degree. Infant deaths occurred in 3 and 4% respectively in MH and UH. Outcome at approximately 12-24 months was the same in both groups. Because 61% of the UH population in this weight group comes from in utero transport patients from the region, this population was reviewed. Fetal deaths occurred in 9.5% of total maternal transport births. Neonatal deaths were similarly reduced (27%) and outcome slightly improved 33%. When the in utero transport patients from the MH were credited back to these hospitals the fetal death rate was 22% compared to the UH rate of 17% (p=NS). Maternal transport patients constitute a population which differs from that of the MH and UH. Data on maternal complications, neonatal morbidity, birth weight, gestational age, socioeconomic status, type of transport and long-term outcome in relation to these factors is in preparation.

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