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Risk Factors and Prevalence of Neonatal Polycythemia in Duhok Maternity Hospital/a Cross-Section Study

Background & objectives: Polycythemia in the newborn is defined as either venous hematocrit or hemoglobin levels above 65% or 22% g/dl, respectively. Its incidence is described as 1 to 5 %, this study aimed to find the prevalence of polycythemia among those newborns who delivered at Duhok maternity hospital.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from 1st June to 31st December 2019 in Duhok, Iraq by screening 300 randomly selected newborns, those newly delivered at Duhok maternity hospital. The collected data were included: neonates age, sex, birth weight, gestational age, APGAR score, oxygen saturation, type of pregnancy, type of delivery, occipito-frontal circumference, and their relationships to polycythemia, in this study neonates were halved into two groups (with polycythemia and without polycythemia).

Results: Of total 300 randomly selected newborns, 31 (10.33%) had polycythemia. from those neonates; males 16 (51.6%) and females 15 (48.38%). The 2 hours or less aged babies were 27 (87.1%) and it was significant statically. Polycythemia was higher among products of normal vaginal delivery 27 (87.1%) also was statistically significant. Furthermore, polycythemia was highly significant for those with gestational age 37-42 weeks 15 (48.38%), also the same among those babies with birth weight 2.5-4kg 18 (58.08%). A 23 (74.1%) of polycythemic newborns were asymptomatic followed by respiratory distress 4 (12.9%). Cyanosis comes later with 2 (6.45%) and poor feeding 1 (3.22%).

Conclusion: Polycythemia is more prevalent among Kurdish newborns in comparison to other nationalities; most babies with polycythemia were asymptomatic followed by respiratory distress, cyanosis, and poor feeding.


Adeeb Falih Ali and Khalaf Hussein Hasan

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