European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology vol:73 issue:2 pages:115-9
OBJECTIVES: Document neurological condition of African neonates with a low apgar score. Setting: Mpilo Hospital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Subjects: 165 babies with an Apgar score of 5 or less at 5 min. METHODS: Neurological examination at term age according to Prechtl. Babies were classified as normal, suspect or abnormal and compared with two reference groups, one from Groningen, the Netherlands and one from Grenada in the Caribbean. RESULTS: A higher number of Zimbabwean babies were delivered by Caesarean section compared to the Groningen group (P < 0.001). Babies delivered by vacuum extraction scored significantly lower compared to babies delivered by Caesarean section (P < 0.003). Twenty abnormal signs derived from the neonatal neurological examination proved to be predictive on the total optimality score (P < 0.001). The number of infants who were classified as abnormal was higher in the Zimbabwean population (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: The selected abnormal signs derived from the neonatal neurological examination proved to be highly predictive on the neurological condition. The neonatal morbidity in Zimbabwean neonates with a low Apgar score was higher when compared with two reference groups from Groningen and Grenada.