The outcome of 13 sets of triplet infants delivered between January 1, 1981, and December 31, 1988, is analyzed with specific regard to immediate neonatal morbidity. Thirty-nine viable infants were born with no perinatal deaths. Overall, 80% of triplet infants incurred some morbidity, including hyperbilirubinemia (51.3%), hypoglycemia (30.8%), respiratory distress syndrome (28.2%), respiratory compromise (23.1%), anemia (17.9%), patent ductus arteriosus (15.4%), and intraventricular hemorrhage (10.3%). All morbidities occurred in infants who averaged less than 2,000 g and 35 weeks' gestation at birth. As a background to understanding these observations, a review of reports of triplet morbidity and mortality in the United States and Europe is presented. Over the past 80 years, a continual decline in triplet perinatal mortality has occurred despite no change in the average gestational age at delivery over the past 40 years. The triplet perinatal mortality rate is now less than 10%, and prematurity is no longer as influential on perinatal mortality as it is on morbidity. Improvement in neonatal resuscitation and care and delivery by cesarean section are felt to be responsible for lower mortality rates. We believe that the optimum level of care for triplet gestations includes antenatal and neonatal care at tertiary perinatal centers and, except for special circumstances, delivery by cesarean section.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association|
|State||Published - Sep 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health