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Table 1 Characteristics and prescription profile of neonates admitted to a NICU in Brazil

From: Off-label use and harmful potential of drugs in a NICU in Brazil: A descriptive study

  Extremely preterm neonates (EPN) Preterm neonates (PN) Term neonates (TN)   
  <28 weeks 28–30 weeks 31–33 weeks 34–36 weeks ≥37 weeks Total (n) p-value*
N 23 34 48 39 48 192 --
Male (%) 43.5 50.0 58.3 53.8 50.0 52.0 0.804a
Cesarean delivery (%) 43.5 67.6 79.2 79.5 64.6 69.2 0.019a
Discharge (%) 17.4 38.2 56.3 59.0 66.7 51.5 <0.001a
Transfer (%) 17.4 14.7 27.1 23.1 22.9 21.8 <0.001a
Deaths (%) 65.2 47.1 16.7 17.9 10.4 26.5 <0.001a
Survivors (%) 34.8 52.9 83.3 82.1 89.6 73.4 <0.001a
APGAR 1’ (mean, SD) 6.0 ± 2.7 5.9 ± 2.0 6.5 ± 1.8 7.0 ± 1.6 6.8 ± 2.0 6.5 ± 2.0 0.139 b
APGAR 5’ (mean, SD) 7.7 ± 2.2 7.9 ± 1.3 8.1 ± 1.1 8.5 ± 1.0 8.2 ± 1.3 8.1 ± 1.3 0.100b
Resuscitation (%) 69.6 79.4 68.8 64.1 56.3 66.6 0.275a
Birth weight (mean, SD- g) 804.0 ± 164.0 1078.4 ± 268.6 1681.4 ± 276.1 2244.5 ± 594.1 2983.7 ± 585.6 1909.5 ± 886.0 <0.001c
NICU stay (days) 24.0 ± 25.1 24.2 ± 19.5 14.7 ± 13.1 18.0 ± 15.0 17.3 ± 19.3 18.8 ± 18.2 0.203b
Neonate-days 552 824 706 705 730 3617 --
Prescriptions (mean, SD) 23.6 ± 24.4 22.5 ± 19.2 13.3 ± 12.3 16.6 ± 15.7 14.1 ± 18.6 17.0 ± 17.9 0.019b
Drugs (mean, SD) 11.5 ± 6.0 11.9 ± 5.3 6.9 ± 4.9 9.0 ± 5.8 7.1 ± 6.9 8.8 ± 6.1 <0.001c
Drugs/prescription (mean, SD) 4.1 ± 1.5 4.2 ± 1.4 2.8 ± 1.4 3.8 ± 1.8 3.0 ± 2.0 3.4 ± 1.7 <0.001c
>6 drugs (%) 73.9 85.3 41.7 53.8 37.5 54.7 <0.001a
Exposure to UL (%) 26.1 20.5 10.4 2.6 8.3 11.9 0.030a
Exposure to OL (%) 100 100 100 100 97.9 99.5 0.555a
UL and OL/prescription (mean, SD) 3.6 ± 1.3 3.5 ± 1.3 2.5 ± 1.2 3.3 ± 1.5 2.5 ± 1.8 3.0 ± 1.5 <0.001c
Exposure to high-alert medications (%) 82.6 97.0 60.4 69.2 64.5 72.4 0.002a
Number of high-alert medications (mean, SD) 2.6 ± 1.4 2.4 ± 1.5 2.1 ± 1.1 2.7 ± 1.5 2.7 ± 1.5 2.5 ± 1.4 0.561b
Exposure to harmful excipients (%) 91.3 100.0 93.7 92.3 83.3 91.6 0.101a
Formulations with harmful excipients (mean, SD) 4.5 ± 2.1 4.5 ± 2.0 3.2 ± 1.6 4.1 ± 1.7 3.8 ± 2.2 3.4 ± 2.1 0.001b
  1. SD standard deviation
  2. aPearson’s chi-square
  3. bKruskal-Wallis test
  4. cANOVA
  5. *p-value (<0.05)