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Risk of early neonatal death high in infants born in the night

Recent research has shown that infants born during night time have a higher risk of early infant death as compared to those born during day time. Previous studies have also shown that infants born at night and during weekends and holidays have an increased risk of death at birth, urging the need for additional skilled and experienced staff for better obstetric and neonatal care during the night. Researchers conducted a population based study of 694,888 vaginal deliveries in Sweden// between 1991 and 1997. Relative risks of intrapartum (death at the time of labour and delivery) and early neonatal death according to the hour, day and month of delivery was estimated. They found that approximately 1 in 650 infants born during the day died during the first week of life as compared to 1 in 570 infants born during the night. This indicated that infants born during the night had 28 per cent more risk of dying during the first week of life than infants born during the day. However, researchers did not observe a similar increase in infant deaths during childbirth at night relative to daytime births, suggesting that night time factors may only affect early infant care, and not deliveries themselves. Also, researchers added that the risk that a newborn will die during the first week of life is now extremely small, regardless of the time of birth.


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