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Acta Paediatr. 2007 Jul;96(7):995-9. Epub 2007 May 10.

A population based 10-year study of neonatal air transport in North Norway.

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Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital of North-Norway, University of Tromsø, Norway.



This study audits the activity of the neonatal air transport team in Norway's two northernmost counties.


Data on all air transports to or from the regional Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) Unit within a 10-year period were collected.


Two hundred and thirty-eight acute transports were conducted during the study period; 169 referrals to the NICU and 69 transfers to national surgical and cardiac centres. Only 13 very low birth weight infants were transported; the in utero transport rate was 95% for this patient population. The adjusted risk of death and/or intracranial haemorrhage for outborn very low birth weight infants was five-fold increased compared to those not transported postnatally. Babies with congenital heart disease comprised the one-fourth of all transports. The long-term mortality was 14% for the whole study population, and 29% for infants with congenital heart disease. Only seven deaths (3.2%) were defined as being transport-related; death during or within 24 h after transport. However, preventable complications like temperature instability, hypoglycaemia and hypo-/hypercapnia occurred in 10-20% of all transports.


The transport related mortality was low in this study, however very low birth weight infants and infants with major congenital heart disease showed a relatively poor outcome.

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